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Faust, (the Intermezzo), Tphigenia, Torquato Tasso, iiigmonl. 





GOETZ VON BERLICHINGEN. Sir Walter Scott 8 Intro- 
duction 401 

The Drama 405 


Notwithstanding the numerous versions of Faust which are 
already before the public,* and the ability with which fragments 
of this great poem have been rendered into English verse, it is, I 
believe, admitted, that no translator has yet succeeded in embody- 
ing its entire spirit in a metrical form. How far I have been 
successful in accomplishing this difficult task, I must leave others 
to determine ; I can only say that, impelled by admiration of the 
splendid poetry scattered through its pages, I have laboured 
diligently to render my translation a faithful reflection of the 
original, and if I have sometimes failed, it must not be attributed 
to any want of earnest endeavour. 

To the merit of Mr. Hayward's prose version, I gladly record 
my humble testimony ; yet, notwithstanding the occasional freedom 
unavoidable in metrical translations, I cannot agree with those 
who regard prose as an appropriate medium for the re-production 
of poetry. In original composition, a natural relation is recognized 
as existing between thought and verse, inasmuch as the latter is 
the spontaneous utterance of the poetic mind, when, in moments 
of inspiration, it teems with 

Thoughts which voluntary move 
Harmonious numbers.'* 

But the inspiring influence of such thoughts is also felt, when, 
instead of springing from the depths of the creative spirit, they 
are derived from a foreign source; and as the seed, if it take 
root, and spring forth anew, must produce a flower 
" Like to the mother-plant in semblance/' 

SO the poetic thought can only find adequate expression in tones 
which harmonize with the music of the original verse. 

A poet, in describing the pleasure attending the exercise of 
the creative faculty, exclaims — 

Ob ! to create within the soul is bliss ! " 

A faint echo of this emotion accompanies the endeavour tsi) 
body forth the conceptions of the inspired master, and hence it is 
that passages of the highest beauty are those which least tax th*) 
energies of the translator. Far more laborious is the attempt to 

* I am credibly informed that there are upwards of twenty complete 
versions in print, and even a greater number of fragments. 


translator's prefacis. 

render into verse ideas not essentially poetical ; and the reader 

** Aware of nothing arduous in a task 
He never undertook/' 

thinks little of 

" The shifts and turns, 
The expedients and inventions multiform, 
To which the mind resorts in chase of terms, 
Though apt, yet coy, and difficult to win." 

The endeavour to render into English verse the finer passage*? 
of Faust, has been to me a source of the highest enjoyment ; and 
if others derive any pleasure from the perusal of my translation, I 
shall feel amply rewarded for the labour attending the less inviting 
portions of my task. 

I shall not attempt any analysis of the poem, but merely 
allude to what appears to me to be the fundamental idea under- 
lying its varied and complicated elements, and which we find 
expressed in the prologue, in the words — 

*' A good man in the direful grasp of ill, 
His consciousness of right retaineth still." 

We have here a recognition of conscience as belonging to the 
deepest roots of man's inner life. The soul, whose inborn ten- 
dency it is 

To rush aloft, to struggle still towards heaven," 

can never derive permanent satisfaction from low and sensual 
gratifications ; and when, from the misdirection of its energies, 
or the ascendancy of the passions, the harmony of the spiritual 
nature is destroyed, the voice of the inward monitor is still 
heard in the recesses of the heart, and the agonies of remorse 
attest that its dictates can never be violated with impunity. 
This deep moral instinct has been characterized as " the hand- 
writing of the creator on the soul," and is the ground of that 
reverent faith in humanity which ever distinguishes the noblest 
minds. Bat while thus recognizing the moral truth embodied in 
the poem, I deeply regret the blemishes which, in my opinion, 
disfigure its pages ; it contains passages which I would fain have 
omitted or modified, had I not held it to be the imperative 
duty of a translator to render faithfully even the defects of the 
original. • 

To those who are curious in contemplating the growth of a 
work of art, and tracing it through its successive stages of deve- 
lopment, Faust ofiers a study of peculiar interest. As early as the 
year 1774, we find Goethe reading the first scenes of the poem to 
klopstock, during the visit of the latter to Frankfort ; from that 
period, it was resumed at intervals till the year 1790, when it 



irst appeared before the public in the form cf " A Fragment.'* 
This fragment Schiller likened to the Torso of Hercules, " mani- 
festing a vigour and exuberance which betrayed unmistakeably 
Ihe hand of the great master;'* it commences with the first 
monologue and ends with the scene in the cathedral ; the scen«:. 
with Valentine, tosjether with somo other passages, were intro- 
duced at a subseqi ..^nt period. After the lapse of several years, 
Goethe's thoughts again reverted to Faust, and in 1797 he pro- 
duced the Dedication, the Prologue for the Theatre, and the Pro- 
logue in Heaven. The Intermezzo must be referred to the same 
year. Goethe was continually urged by Schiller to the completion 
of the work, and the correspondence of the two poets at this period 
contains several interesting passages relative to its continuation 
and further development. It was not, however, till the year 1808 
after it had been brooded over in the poet's mind for upwards oi 
thirty years, that the first part of Faust was published in its pre- 
sent form. In compiling the foregoing brief sketch of the progress 
of the poem, I have followed Diintzer's recent work upon Faust. 

My translations of Iphigenia and of the first act of Tasso 
have already appeared in a volume, entitled " Selections from the 
Dramas of Goethe and Schiller." The remainder of the Tasso, 
together with my versions of i aust and of Egmont, are published 
now for the first time. 

In Goethe's " Dichtung and Wahrheit," known in England 
as his Autobiography, we have an account of the origin of Goetz 
von Berlichingen, to which an interest attaches from its having 
been the first great dramatic work of the author, and also from 
its translation being among the earliest literary efforts of Sir 
Walter Scott. When he undertook the task his knowledge of 
German must have been very imperfect, as his version abounde 
with errors ; these have been corrected in the present edition, 
and omissions of some length supplied. My publisher has assisted 
in the alterations, and is respoasibl for the greater number of 

A. 6. 

November, 1850. 

VI 11 


As without some key thia scene is utterly incomprehensible to the 
English reader, a brief notice of some of the allusions it contains 
is here subjoined; they are dwelt upon at greater length in 
Diintzer's work. 

It may be regarded as a kind of satirical jeu d'esprit, and con- 
sists of a series of epigrams, directed against a variety of false ten- 
dencies in art, literature, religion, philosophy, and political life. 

The introductory stanzas are founded upon the Midsummer 
Night's Dream, and Wieland's Oberon. To celebrate the recon- 
ciliation of the fairy king and queen a grotesque assemblage of 
figures appear upon the stage. Common-place musicians, and 
poetasters, having no conception that every poem must be an 
organic whole, are satirized as the bagpipe, the embiyo spirit, 
and the little pair. Then follows a series of epigrams, having re- 
ference to the plastic arts, and directed against that false pietism 
and alFected purity which would take a narrow and one-sided 
view of artistical creations. Nicolai, the sworn enemy of ghosts 
and Jesuits, is introduced as the inquisitive traveller, and Stol- 
berg, who severely criticised Schiller's poem, " The Gods of 
Greece," is alluded to in the couplet headed " Orthodox." 

Hennings, the editor of two literary journals, entitled the 
Musaget, and the Genius of the Age, had attacked the Xenien, a 
series of epigrams, published jointly by Goethe and Schiller ; 
Goethe, in retaliation, makes him confess his own unfitness to be 
a leader of the Muses, and his readiness to assigu a place on the 
German Parnassus to any one who was willing to bow to his au- 
thority. Nicolai again appears as the inquisitive traveller, and 
Lavater is said to be alluded to as the crane. The metaphysical 
philosophers are next the objects of the poet's satire ; allusion is 
made to the bitter hostility manifested by the contending schools, 
the characteristics of which are so well known that it is needless 
to dwell upon them here. The philosophers are succeeded by the 
politicians ; " the knowing ones," who, in the midst of political 
revolutions, manage to keep in with the ruling party, are con- 
trasted with those unfortunate individuals who are unable to 
accommodate themselves to the new order of things. In revolu- 
tionary times also, parvenus are raised to positions of eminence, 
while worthless notabilities, deprived of their hereditary splen- 
dour, are unable to maintain their former dignified position. 
" The massive ones" typify the men of the revolution, the leaders 
of the people, who, heedless of intervening obstacles, march 
straight on to their destined goal. Pack and Ariel, who had in- 
troduced the shadowy procession, again make their appearance, 
inl the fairy pageant vanishes into air. 

What relation this fantastic assemblage bearc to Faust is not 
immediately obvious, unless, indeed, as Diintzer suggests, the poet 
meant to shadow forth the various distractions with which 
Mephistophiles endeavours to dissipate the mind of Faust, wlio 
had turned with disgust from the witch-society of the Brockeii. 


The drama of ^Iphigenia in Tauris' has been considered 
3oethe's masterpiece ; it is conceived in the spirit of Greek 
ideality, and is characterized throughout by moral beauty and 
dignified repose. Schlegel * styles it an echo of Greek song, an 
epithet as appropriate as it is elegant ; for, without any servil« 
imitation of classic models, this beautiful drama, through the 
jaedium of its polished verse, reproduces in softened characters 
the graceful and colossal form? "^f the antique. 

The destiny of Agamemnon and his race was a favourite theme 
of the ancients. It has been dramatized in a variety of forms by 
the three great masters of antiquity ; and from these various 
sources Goethe has gathered the materials for his drama, enriching 
it with touches of sublimity and beauty selected indiscrimiuately 
from the works of each. The description of the Furies in the 
third act is worthy of ^schylus, and in the spirit of the same 
great writer is the exchision of these terrific powers from the 
consecrated grove, symbolical of the peace which religion can 
alone afford to the anguish of a wounded conscience. The pro- 
minence given to the idea of destiny, together with the finished 
beauty of the whole, remind us of Sophocles ; while the passages 
conveying general moral truths, scattered throughout the poem, 
not unfrequently recall to our recollection those of a similar 
character in the dramas of Euripides. 

Two dramas of Euripides are founded upon the well-knovm 
story of Iphigenia. In the * Iphigenia in Aulis,' we are introduced 
to the assembled hosts of Greece, detained by contrary winds in 
consequence of Diana's anger against Agamemnon. An oracle 
nad declared that the Goddess could only be propitiated by the 
sacrifice of Iphigenia, who is accordingly allured with her mother 
to the camp. On discovering the fearful doom which awaits her, 
she is at first overwhelmed with grief She implores her father to 
spare her life, endeavours to touch his heart by recalling the fond 
memories of by-gone times, and holds up her infant brother, 
Orestes, that he may plead for her with his tears. Learning 
however that the glory of aer country depends upon her death, 
she rises superior to her fears, subdues her womanly weakness, 
and devotes herself a willing sacrifice for Greece. She is con- 
ducted to the altar, the sacred garlands are bound around her 

Dramatic Literatuie, Bohn's edition, page oltt. 


hcad^ Calchas lifts the knife to deal the fatal stroke, when 
Iphigenia suddenly vanishes, and a hind of uncommon beauty 
lies bleeding at his feet. 

In the ' Iphigenia in Tatjris/ our heroine re-appears, in the 
temple of Diana, situated in the Tauric Chersonese, a savage 
'."egion washed by the Euxine Sea, where, according to the 
.ancients, all strangers were sacrificed at the altar of Diana, 
To this wild shore Iphigenia had been conveyed by the pity- 
ing goddess, and there, in her character of priestess, she pre- 
sided over the bloody rites of the barbarians. The incidents in 
this drama have been adopted by Goethe as the groundwork of 
his poem, the chief interest in w^hich, as in the drama of Euripides, 
turns upon the departure of Iphigenia and Orestes from the 
Ta^rian shjre. A brief outline of the Grecian drama will 
show in what particulars the modern poet has adhered to his 
classic model, and where he has deviated from it. 

The scene of both is in the vicinity of the temple of Diana. In 
the opening soliloquy of the Grecian drama, Iphigenia, after 
lamenting her unhappy destiny, relates her dream of the previous 
night, from which she infers the death of Orestes. She determines 
to offer a libation to his memory, and while engaged in performing 
this pious rite, she is informed that two strangers have been 
captured on the shore, for whose sacrifice she is commanded to 
prepare. Orestes and Pylades are shortly after introduced, and, 
learning from the former that he is a native of Argos, she offers 
to spare his life provided he will carry a letter for her to Mycene. 
He refuses to abandon his friend ; Pylades is equally disinterested ; 
a generous contest ensues, and the latter, yielding at length to the 
entreaties of Orestes, consents to accept life on the proposed con- 
ditions. The letter addressed to Orestes is produced, and 
Iphigenia discovers her brother in the intended victim. They 
anxiously consider how they may escape, and Iphigenia suggests 
that in her character of priestess she shall lead them, together 
with the image of Diana, to the sea, there to be purified in the 
ocean waves, where they may find safety in the attendant bark. 
With all the wily subtlety of a Greek, she imposes upon the cre- 
dulity of the barbarian monarch, and induces him not only to 
sanction her project, but to assist in its execution, which she at 
length successfully achieves. In this drama, Iphigenia, though 
exhibiting some noble traits, offends us by her unscrupulous 
violation of the truth, and by the cunning artifice which Goethe, 
with admirable art, has attributed to Pylades. We are the more 
displeased with this portrait, because we are unwilling to recog- 
nize in the crafty priestess the innocent victim, who Si5 strongly 
awakens our sympathy in the beautiful drama of ' Iphigenia in 
Aulis.' In the Iphigenia of Goethe on the contrary, we discorer 


with pleasure the same filial tenderness, and the same touching 
mixture of timidity and courage which characterized that in- 
teresting heroine. 

In the drama of Euripides we are chiefly interested in the 
generous friendship of Orestes and Pylades : in that of Goethe 
the character of Iphigenia constitutes the chief charm, and 
awakens our warmest sympathy. While contemplating her, we 
feel as if some exquisite statue of Grecian art had become 
animated by a living soul, and moved and breathed before us : 
though exhibiting the severe simplicity which characterizes the 
creations of antiquity, she is far removed from all coldness and 
austerity ; and her character, though cast in a classic mould, is 
free from that harsh and vindictive spirit which darkened tho 
heroism of those barbarous times when religion lent her sanction 
to hatred and revenge. 

The docihty with which, in opposition to her own feelings, she 
at first consents to the stratagem of Pylades, though apparently 
inconsistent with her reverence for truth, is in reaUty a beautiful 
and touchiug trait. The conflict in her mind between intense 
anxiety for her brother's safety, and detestation of the artifice 
by which alone she thinks it can be secured, amounts almost to 
agony ; in her extremity she calls upon the Gods, and implores 
them to save their image in her soul. The struggle finally sub- 
sides ; she remains faithful to her high convictions, reveals the 
project of escape, and thus saves her soul from treachery. From 
the commencement of the fifth act she assumes a calm and lofty 
tone, as if feeling the inspiration of a noble purpose. The dignity 
and determination with which she opposes the cruel project of 
the barbarian king, remind us of the similar qualities displayed 
by the Antigone of Sophocles, who is perhaps the noblest heroine 
of antiquity. Thus when called upon by the king to reverence 
the law, Iphigenia appeals to that law written in the heart, more 
ancient and more sacred than the ordinances of man ; and Anti- 
gone, when by the interment of her brother Polynicea, she has 
incurred the anger of the tyrant Creon, and become subjected to 
a cruel death, justifies herself by an appeal to the same sacred 

The remaining characters ol the drama, though subordinate to 
the central figure, are in admirable keeping with it, the poet 
having softened down the harsh features of the barbarians, so as 
not to form too abrupt a contrast with the more polished Greeks, 
and thereby interfere with the harmony of the piece. The 
colossal figures of the Titans appearing in the background, and 
the dread power of Destiny overarching all, impart a character ot 
solemn grandeur to the whole. 


The annals of biography offer no page the perusal of which 
awakens a greater variety of emotions than that which records 
the fate of Torquato Tasso, This great poet, distinguished alike 
by his genius and his misfortunes, concentrates in his own person 
the deepest interests of humanity; while the mystery which 
broods over his derangement and his love, imparts to his story 
the air rather of poetic fiction than of sober truth. Goethe's 
poem, founded upon the residence of Tasso at the court of 
Ferrara, is justly celebrated for its fine delineations of character 
and its profound insight into the depths of the human heart. It 
exhibits a striking picture of the great bard at the most mo- 
mentous period of his existence, which was signalized by the 
completion of his immortal work ; and though the action of the 
drama embraces only a few hours, by skilfully availing himself of 
retrospect and anticipation, Goethe has presented us with a beau- 
tiful epitome of the poet's life. 

Thus, in the third scene of the drama, Tasso alludes to his 
early childhood, the sorrows of which he has so pathetically sung; 
we accompany the youthful bard, in his twenty-second year, to the 
brilliant court of Ferrara, where he arrived at a period when the 
nuptials of the Duke with the Emperor's sister were celebrated 
with unrivalled splendour. At the conclusion of these festivities, 
he was presented by the Princess Lucretia to her sister, Leonora, 
who was destined to exert such a powerful influence over his 
future life ; we behold him the honoured and cherished inmate of 
Belriguardo, a magnificent palace, surrounded by beautiful gar- 
dens, where the Dukes of Ferrara were accustomed to retire with 
their most favoured courtiers, and where, under the inspiring 
influences of love, beauty, and court favour, he completed his 
' Gerusalemme Liberata,' one of the proudest monuments of 
human genius. 

Goethe has with great skill made us acquainted with some of 
the circumstances which, acting upon the peculiar temperament 
of the poet, at Length induced the mental disorder which cast so 
dark a shadow over his later years. His hopeless love for Leo- 
nora no doubt conspired with other causes to unsettle his fine 
intellect, — a calamity which in him appears like the bewilder- 
ment of a mind suddenly awakened, from the visions of poetry 
and love passionately cherished for so many years, into the cold 
realities of actual life, where his too sensitive ear was stunned by 
the harsh and discordant voices of envy and superstition. We are 


thus prepared for his distracted flight from Ferrara, and Goethe 
has introduced prospectively the touching incident related by 
Manso, — how, in the disguise of a shepherd, he presented himself 
to his sister Cornelia, to whom he related his story in language so 
pathetic, that she fainted from the violence of her grief. 

His return to Ferrara, his imprisonment in the Hospital of 
Santa Anna, and his subsequent miserable wanderings from city 
to city, are not mentioned in the drama; but the allusion of 
Alphonso to the crown which should adorn him on the Capitol, 
brings to our remembrance the affecting circumstances of his 

It appears from his letters, that at one period of his life, he 
earnestly desired a triumph similar to that which Petrarca had 
enjoyed ; but when at length this honour was accorded him, when 
a period was assigned for this splendid pageant, a change had 
come over his spirit. His long sufferings had weaned his 
thoughts from earth ; he felt that the hand of death was upon 
him, and hoped — to use his own words — " to go crowned, not as 
a poet t ) the Capitol, but with glory as a saint to Heaven." On 
the eve of the day appointed for the ceremony, he expired at the 
monastery of Saint Onofrio, and his remains^ habited in a mag- 
nificent toga, and adorned with a laurel crown, were carried in 
procession through the streets of Rome. 

Goethe has faithfully portrayed the times in which Tasso 
lived, and circumstances apparently trivial have an historical 
significance, and impart an air of reality to the drama. Thus 
the fanciful occupation and picturesque attire of the Prin- 
cess and Countess at the opening of the piece, transport us at 
once to that graceful court where the pastoral drama was invented 
and refined, and where, not long before, Tasso' s ' Aminta,' which 
is considered one of the most beautiful specimens of this species 
of composition, had been performed for the first time with enthu- 
siastic applause. 

The crown adorning the bust of Ariosto, together with the 
enthusiastic admiration expressed for that poet by Antonio, is like- 
wise characteristic of the age. The * Orlando Furioso' had been 
composed at the same court about fifty years before, and had 
become so universally popular, that, according to Bernardo Tasso, 
the father of Torquato, " neither learned man nor artisan, no 
youth, no maid, no old man, could be satisfied with a single 
perusal — " passengers in the streets, sailors in their boats, and 
virgins in their chambers, sang for their disport the stanzas of 

The project of dethroning this monarch of Parnassus, or, a« 
least, of placing upon his own brow a crown as glorious, appears 

• Black's Lifeof Tassio. 


from his own letters early to have awakened the ambition o 

The subordinate characters of the drama are also historicai 

Sortraits. Alphonso II. is represented by his biographers as the 
beral patron of the arts, and as treating Tasso at this period 
wdth marked consideration ; nor had he yet manifested that im- 
placable and revengeful spirit which has rendered his memory 
justly hateful to posterity. In the relation which subsisted 
Detween this prince and Tasso, Goethe has exhibited the evils 
resulting from the false spirit of patronage prevalent at that 
period throughout Italy, when talent was regarded as the neces- 
sary appendage of rank, and works of genius were considered a^' 
belonging rather to the patron than to the individual by whonr. 
they had been produced. 

Antonio Montecatino, the Duke's secretary, is also draw^; 
from life. He is an admirable personification of that spirit c 
worldly wisdom which looks principally to material results, anr 
contemplates promotion and court favour as the highest objectr 
of ambition. This "earth-born prudence," having little sympath)* 
with poetic genius, affects to treat it with contempt, resents as 
presumptuous its violation of ordinary rules, holds up its foible? 
and eccentricities to ridicule, and at the same time envies the 
homage paid to it by mankind. 

At the period of the drama, the court of Ferrara was graced 
by the presence of I^eonora, Countess of Scandiano, in whoni 
Goethe has portrayed a woman eminently graceful and accom* 
plished, but who fails to win our sympathy because her ruling 
sentiment is vanity. Tasso paid to this young beauty the trbute 
of public homage, and addressed to her some of his most beautiful 
sonnets ; according to Ginguene, however, his sentiment for her 
was merely poetical, and could easily ally itself with the more 
genuine, deep, and constant affection which he entertained for 
Leonora of Este. 

Lucretia and Leonora of Este were the daughters of Renee of 
.?rance, celebrated for her insatiable thirst for knowledge, and for 
•he variety and depth of her studies. She became zealously 
attached to the tenets of the Reformers, in consequence of which 
she was deprived of her children, and closely imprisoned for 
twelve years. 

To the intellectual power, the knowledge, heresy, and con- 
sequent misfortunes of her unhappy mother, the Princese 
Leonora twice alludes in the course of the drama. The daughter? 
of this heroic woman inherited her mental superiority, anc 
Leonora, the younger, is celebrated by various writers for her 
genius, learning, beauty, and early indifference to the pleasurr 
ff the world. 


In Schiller's critiq-ie upon the tragedy of Egmont, Goethe is 
oeusured for departing from the truth of history in the delinea- 
tion of his hero's character, and also for misrepresenting the 
circumstances of his domestic life. The Egmont of history left 
behind him a numerous family, anxiety for whose welfare detained 
him in Brussels when most of his friends sought safety in flight. 
His withdrawal would have entailed the confiscation of his pro- 

gerty, and he shrank from exposing to privation those whose 
appiness was dearer to him than life ; — a consideration which 
he repeatedly urged in his conferences with the Prince of Orange, 
when the latter insisted upon the necessity of escape. We see 
here, not the victim of a blind and fool-hardy confidence, as por- 
trayed in Goethe's drama, but the husband and father, regardless 
of his personal safety in anxiety for the interests of his family. 

I shall not inquire which conception is best suited for the 
purposes of art, but merely subjoin a few extracts from the same 
critique, in which Schiller does ample justice to Goethe's admir- 
able delineation of the age and country in which the drama is 
cast, and which are peculiarly valuable from the pen of so com- 
petent an authority as the historian of the Fall of the Nether- 

" Egmont's tragical death resulted from the relation in which 
he stood to the nation and the government ; hence the action of 
the drama is intimately connected with the political life of the 
period — an exhibition of which forms its indispensable ground- 
work. But if we consider what an infinite number of minute 
circumstances must concur in order to exhibit the spirit of an 
age, and the political condition of a people, and the art required 
to combine so many isolated features into an intelligible and 
organic whole ; and if we contemplate, moreover, the peculiar 
character of the Netherlands, consisting not of one nation, but of 
an aggregate of many smaller states, separated from each other 
by the sharpest contrasts, we shall not cease to wonder at the 
creative genius, which, triumphing over all these diflSculties, 
conjures up before us, as with an enchanter's wand, the Nether- 
lands of the sixteenth century. 


" Not only do we behold these men living and working before 
VIS, we dwell among them as their familiar associates ; we see on 
the one hand, the joyous sociability, the hospitality, the loquacity, 
the somewhat boastful temper of the people, their republican 
spirits, ready to boil up at the slightest innovation, and often 
subsiding again as rapidly on the most trivial grounds ; and on 
the other hand, we are made acquainted with the burthens under 
which they groaned, from the new mitres of the bishops, to the 
French psalms which they were forbidden to sing ; — nothing is 
omitted, no feature introduced which does not bear the stamp 
of nature and of truth. Such delineation is not the result of 
premeditated effort, nor can it be commanded by art ; it can 
only be achieved by the poet whose mind is thoroughly imbued 
with his subject ; from him such traits escape unconsciously, and 
without design, as they do from the individuals whose characters 
they serve to portray. 

" The few scenes in which the citizens of Brussels are intro- 
duced appear to us to be the result of profound study, and it 
would be difficult to find, in so few words, a more admirable 
historical monument of the Netherlands of that period. 

" Equally graphic is that portion of the picture which portrays 
the spirit of the government, though it must be confessed that the 
artist has here somewhat softened down the harsher features of 
^he original. This is especially true in reference to the character 
of the Duchess of Parma. Before his Duke of Alva we tremble, 
without however turning from him with aversion ; he is a firm, 
rigid, inaccessible character ; * a brazen tower without gates, the 
garrison of which must be furnished with wings.' The prudent 
forecast with which he makes his arrangements for Egmont's 
arrest, excites our admiration, while it removes him from our 
sympathy. The remaining characters of the drama are delineated 
with a few masterly strokes. The subtle, taciturn Orange, with 
his timid, yet comprehensive and all -combining mind, is depicted 
in a single scene. Both Alva and Egmont are mirrored in the 
men by whom they are surrounded. This mode of delineation is 
admirable. The poet, in order to concentrate the interest upon 
Egmont, has isolated his hero, and omitted all mention of Count 
Horn, who shared the same melancholy fate." 

The appendix to Schiller's History of the Fall of the Nether- 
lands contains an interesting account of the trial and execution 
of the Counts Egmont and Horn, which is, however, v oo long for 
insertion here. 


Characters in the Prologue for the Thecure 

The Manager, 
The Dramatic Poet. 

Characters in the Prolojue in thivo^^ 
The Lord. 

Wagner, a Student. 

Martha, Margaret's Neighbour. 
Valentine, Margaret's Brother. 
Old Peasant. 
A Student. 

Elizabeth, an acquaintance of ^Margaret's. 
Frosch, "I 

'A/itchis, old and young; ^Vizards, Will-o'the-Wisp, Witch Pedlar 
Protophantasmist, kiervibilis. Monkeys, Spirits, Journeymen, Coun. 
try-Folk, Citizens, Beggar, Old Fortune-Teller, Shepherd, Soldier 
Students, &;c. 

The Heavenly Hosts. 

Characters in the Tragcd^f, 

Guests in Auerbach's Wine-Cellai, 

In tha Intermezzo, 


TlTi.NI A. 


Puck, &c., &c. 



Dim forms, ye hover near, a shadowy traiu. 
As erst upon tlj troubl'd sight ye stole. 
Shall I yet strive to hold you once again? 
Still for the fond illusion yearns my soul? 
Ye press around ! Come then, resume your reign, 
As upwards from the vapoury mist ye roll. 
Within my breast youth's throbbing pulses bound, 
Fann'd by the magic air that breathes around. 

Shades fondly-loved appear, your train attending, 
And visions fair of many a blissful day ; 
First-love and friendship their fond accents blcndin 
Like to some dim, traditionary lay; 
Sorrow revives, her wail of anguish sending 
Back o'er life's chequer'd labyrinthine way, 
Recalling cherish'd friends, in life's fair morn. 
From my embrace, by cruel fortune torn. 

Alas ! my closing song they hear no more, 
The friends, for whom my earlier strains I sang; 
Dispers'd the throng who greeted me of yore. 
And mute the voices that responsive rang; 
My tuneful grief 'mong strangers now I pour. 
E'en their applauding tones inflict a pang, 
And those to whom my music once seem'd sweet 
If yet on earth, are scatter" d ne'er to meet. 

A strange, unwonted longing doth upraise 
To yon calm spirit-realm my yearning soul! 
In soften' d cadence, as when Zephyr plays 
With ^ol's harp, my tmieful numlDers roll; 
My pulses thrill, the tear unbidden strays, 
My stedfast heart resigns its self-control; 
As from afar the present meets my view. 
While what hath pass'd away alone seems true. 


Manager, Dramatic Poet, Merrymait, 


Ye twain, whom I so oft have found 

True friends in trouble and distress. 

Say, in our scheme on German ground. 

What prospect have we of success ? 

Fain would I please the public, win their thanks ; 

They live and let live, that I call fair play ; 

The posts are ready fix'd, and laid the planks. 

And all anticipate a treat to-day. 

They've ta'en their places, and with eyebrows rais' 

Sit patiently, and fain would be amaz'd. 

I know the art to hit the pubUo taste. 

Yet so perplex'd I ne'er have been before; 

'Tis true, they're not accustom' d to the best, 

But then they read immensely, that's the bore. 

How make our entertainment striking, new, 

And yet significant and pleasing too ? 

For to be plain, I love to see the throng. 

As to our booth the living tide progresses ; 

As wave on wave successive rolls along. 

And through the narrow gate in tumult presses. 

Still in broad day, ere yet the clock strikes four. 

Their way to the receiver's box they take ; 

And, as in famine at the baker's door, 

For tickets are content their necks to break. 

Such various minds the bard alone can sway. 

My Mend, oh work this miracle to-day I 


Oh speak not of the motley multitude. 
Whose aspect puts each gentler thought to fligh:. 
Shut out the noisy crowed, whose vortex rude 
Draws down the spirit with resistless might. 
Lead me to some still nook, where none intrude 
'Vhere only for the bard blooms pure delight, 

B 2 

Where love and friendship, fair angelic powers, 
Crown with the heart's best joys the circling hours 

^"hat in the spirit's depths was there conceived, 
"\Miat there the timid lip shap'd forth in sound, 
Imperfect now, now adequate believed, 
In the \vild tumult of the hour is drown'd; 
The perfect work, through years of toil achiev'd. 
Appears, at length, with finish' d beauty crown d; 
What dazzles satisfies the present hour. 
The genuine lives, of coming years the dower. 


This cant about posterity I hate; 

About posterity were I to prate. 

Who then the living would amuse, for they 

Hequire diversion, ay, and 'tis their due. 

A sprightly fellow's presence at your play, 

Methinks should always go for something too ; 

Whose ready wit a genial vein inspires, 

He'll ne'er be wounded by the captious throng; 

A wider circle doubtless he desires. 

Where sympathy exalts the power of song. 

To work, then ! Prove a master in your art ! 

Fancy invoke, with all her choral train — 

Let reason, passion, feeling, bear their part. 

But mark! let folly mingle in the strain. 


And chief, let incidents enough arise ! 

A show they want, they come to feast their eyes 

When stirring scenes before them are display' d 

At which the wond"ring multitude may gaze. 

Your reputation is already made. 

And popular applause your toil repays. 

A mass alone will with the mass succeed. 

Then each at length selects what he reqiures 

Who bringcth much, of many suits the need, 

And each contented from the house retires. 

What though your drama .should like patchwork shos'jj 

No matter — the ragout will take, I know; 

Ks easy 'tis to serve as to invent, 



A finish' d whole what boots it to present, 
'Twill be in pieces by the public rent. 


How mean such handicraft you cannot feel! 
How it degrades the genuine artist's mind! 
I'he bungling work in which these coxcombs deal. 
Is an established maxim here, I find. 


ISuch a reproof disturbs me not a whit! 

Who on efficient working is intent. 

Must choose the most appropriate instmment. 

Consider! 'tis soft wood you have to splits 

Remember too for whom you write, I pray I 

One comes perchance to while an hour away; 

One from the festive board, a sated guest; 

Others, whom more I dread than all the rest, 

From journal-reading hmiy to tlie play. 

With absent minds, as to a masque they press 

By curiosity alone dra\NTi here ; 

Ladies display their persons and their dress, 

And without pay in character appear. 

What dreams beguile you on your poet's height^ 

What puts a full house in a merry mood? 

More closely view your patrons of the night. 

Half are unfeeling, half uncultur'd, rude. 

One hopes the night in wanton joy to spend, 

Another's thinking of a game of cards ; 

Why, ye poor fools, for such a paltry end, 

Plague the coy muse, and court her fair regards^ 

Only give more and more, 'tis all I ask; 

Thus you will ne'er stray widch' from the goid; 

Your audience seek to mystify, cajole ; — 

To satisfy them — that's a harder task. 

Ah! what comes o'er you? rapture or vexation? 


Depart! elsewhere another servant choose! 
What! shall the bard his godlike power abuse? 
Man's loftiest right, kind natm-e's high bequest. 
For your mean purpose basely sport away? 
Whence comes his mast'ry o'er the human breast? 
What bends the elements beneath his sway ? 



Oh, is it not his own poetic soul, 
Whose gushing harmony, with strong controi, 
Draws back into his heart the wondrous whole ? 
When round her spindle, with unceasing drone, 
Natui'e still whirls th' unending thread of life; 
When Being's jarring crowds, together thrown, 
Mingle in harsh inextricable strife ; 
Whose spirit quickens the unvarying round. 
And bids it flow to music's measured tone? 
Who calls the individual to resound, 
With nature's chords in noble unison? 
Who hears the voice of passion in the storm? 
Who sees the flush of thought in evening's glow? 
Who lingers fondly round the lov'd one's form. 
Spring's fairest blossoms in her path to strow? 
Who from unmeaning leaves a wreath doth twint 
For glory, gather' d in whatever field? 
Who raises mortals to the realms divine? — 
Man's lofty spirit in the bard reveal' d. 


Come then, employ your lofty inspiration, 

And carry on the poet's avocation, 

Just as we carry on a love-alfair. 

Fortune together brings a youthful pair ; 

They're touch'd, their spirits rise with fond elation. 

Insensibly they're link'd, they scarce know how; 

Fortune seems now propitious, adverse now, 

Then come alternate rapture and despair; 

And 'tis a true romance ere one's aware. 

Just such a drama let us now compose ! 

Plunge boldly into life — its depths disclose! 

Each lives it, not to many is it known, 

'Twill interest wheresoever seiz'd and shown; 

Bright pictures, but obscure their meaning, 

A ray of truth through error gleaming. 

This is the best elixir you can brew, 

To charm mankind, and edify them too. 

Then youth's fair blossoms crowd to view your play, 

And wait as on an oracle; while they. 

The tender souls, who love the melting mood. 

Suck from your work their melancholy food; 


With wonder and delight they witness there, 
The secret working of their hearts laid bare ; 
Their tears, their laughter you command with ease ; 
The dazzling, the illusive still they love, 
Still doth each lofty thought their reverence move, 
Your finish* d gentlemen you ne'er can please, 
A growing mind alone will grateful prove. 


Then give me back youth's golden prime, 
When m.y oym spirit too Avas growing. 
When from my heart th' unbidden rhyme 
Gush'd forth, a fount for ever flowing, 
Then shadowy mist the world conceal' d, 
Through vales, with odorous blooms inlaid, 
Culling a thousand flowers I stray' d, 
And every bud sweet promise made, 
Of wonders still to be reveal' d. 
Nought had I, yet a rich profusion ; 
The thirst for truth, joy in each fond illusion. 
Give me unquell'd those impulses to prove;— 
Rapture so deep, its ecstasy was pain. 
The power of hate, the energy of love, 
Give me, oh give me back, my youth again : 


Youth, my good friend, you certainly require 
When foes in battle round you press, 
When a fair maid, her heart on fire, 
Hangs on yom- neck with fond caress ; 
When from afar, the victor's crown. 
Allures you in the race to run; 
Or when in revelry you drown 
Your sense, the whirling dance being done 
But the familiar chords among 
Boldly to sweep, with graceful cunning. 
While to its goal, the verse along 
Its winding path is sweetly running ; 
With you, old gentlemen, this duty lies; 
Nor are you thence less rev'rend in our eyes ; 
That age doth make us childish; some maintain- 
No, it but finds us childien once agait . 




A truce to words, mere empty sound. 
Let deeds at length appear, my friendK^ 
While idle compliments you round, 
Vou might achieve some useful ends. 
Why talk of the poetic vein? 
Who hesitates will never know it; 
If bards ye are, as ye maintain. 
Now let your inspii'ation show it. 
To you our present need is known, 
Strong draughts will suit our taste alone. 
Come, brew me such without delay! 
That which to-day is not begun, 
Is on the morrow still undone ! 
In dallying never lose a day ! 
Resolve should grasp, as if inspir'd. 
The Possible, with courage bold. 
Then she will ne'er resign her hold, 
But labour on with zeal untir'd. 

On German boards, you're well aware, 

The taste of each may have full sway ; 

Therefore in bringing out your play. 

Nor scenes nor mechanism spare. 

The lights of heaven, both great and small, produoe; 

Squander away the stars, expend 

Fire, rocks, and water, without end ; 

And birds and beasts of all kinds introduce. 

Thus the whole circle of creation bring 

VVithin the girdle of our wooden shell, 

And with considerate speed, on fancy's wing. 

Journey from heaven, thence through the earth, to helL 


The Lord. The Heavenly Hosts. Afterwards 

7%e three Archangels come forwards 


Still quiring as in ancient time 
With brother spheres in rival song, 
The sun with thunder-march sublime 
Moves his predestin'd course along. 
Angels are strengthen* d by his sight, 
Though fathom him no angel may; 
Resplendent are the orbs of light, 
As on creation's primal day. 


And lightly spins earth's gorgeous sphoiv, 
Swifter than thought its rapid flight ; 
Alternates Eden-brightness clear, 
With solemn, dread-inspiring night ; 
The foaming waves, with murmurs hoarso. 
Against the rocks' deep base are hurl'd ; 
And in the sphere's eternal course. 
Are rocks and ocean swiftly whirl'd. 


And rival tempests rush amain 
From sea to land, from land to sea. 
And raging form a wondrous chain 
Of deep mysterious agency. 
Full in the thunder's fierce career, 
Flaming the swift destructions play; 
But, Lord, thy messengers revere 
The mild procession of thy day. 


Angels are strengthen' d by the sight, 
Though fathom thee no angel may ; 
Thy works still shine with splendour bright 
As on creation's primal day. 




Since, Lord, thy levee thou again dost hold, 
To learn how all things are progressing hen?, 
Since thou hast kindly welcom'd me of old, 
Thou see'st me now among thy suite appear. 
Excuse me, fine harangues I cannot make, 
Though all the circle look on me with scorn ; 
My pathos soon thy laughter would awake, 
Had'st thou the laughing mood not long forswore ? 
Concerning suns and worlds I've nought to say. 
I but consider man's self-torturing lot, 
As wondrous now as on creation's day, 
His stamp the little world -god changeth not. 
A somewhat better life he'd lead, poor wight, 
But for thy gift, a gleam of heavenly light ; 
Reason he calls it, and doth use it so. 
That e'en than brutes more brutish he doth grow. 
With all due deference he appears to me 
Much like your long-legged grasshopper to be, 
Which flits about, and flying bounds along, 
Then in the grass sings his familiar song; 
Would he but always in the gi-ass repose ! 
In every dirty place he thrusts his nose. 


Hast thou nought else to say ? Is thy sole aim 

In coming here, as ever, but to blame? 

Does nothing on the earth to thee seem right? 


No, Lord ! Things there are in a wretched plights 
Men's sorrow from my heart I so deplore. 
E'en I would not torment the poor things more. 


Say, is to thee my servant, Fau-stus, known? 


The doctor ? 


Him I mean. 


Well, we must own. 
His service in a cm*ious way is shown. 


Poor fool ! He liveth not on earthly food • 
An inward impulse hurries him afar, 
Himself half conscious of his frenzied mood; 
From heaven he claims its brightest star, 
From earth demands its highest good, 
Nor can their gather' d treasures soothe to rest. 
The cravings of his agitated breast. 


Though now he serve me with imperfect sight, 
I will ere long conduct him to the light. 
The gard'ner knoweth, when the green appears, 
That flowers and fruit will crown the coming year:'. 


What wilt thou wager ? Mine he yet shall be, 
Let me, with thy permission, be but free, 
Him my own way with quiet lure to guide ! 


So long as on the earth he doth abide. 
So long it shall not be forbidden thee i 
Man, while he striveth, still is prone to err. 


I'm much oblig'd, the dead delight not me ! 
The plump fresh cheek of youth I much prefer. 
I'm not at home to corpses ; 'tis my way. 
Like cats with captive mice to toy and play. 


Enough ! it is permitted thee ! Divert 
This mortal spirit from his source divine. 
And, can'st thou seize on him, thy power exert 
To draw him downward, and to make him thine. 
Then stand abash' d, when baffl'd thou shalt owi;, 
A good man, in the direful grasp of ill. 
His consciousness of right retaineth still. 


WeU, well, — ^the wager will oe quickly woa. 
For my success no fears I entertain ; 
And if my end I finally should gain, 
Excuse my triumphing with all my soul. 
Dust he shall eat, ay, and with relish take. 
As did of yore, my cousin, the old snake. 




Here too tliou*rt free to act without controL 

Towards such as thou, I entertain no hate. 

Among the spirits of denial, thee, 

The scoffer, I esteem least reprobate. 

Prone to relax is man's activity ; 

In indolent repose he fain would live ; 

Hence this companion purposely I give, 

Who stirs, excites, and must, as devil, worlc 

Eut ye, the genuine sons of heaven, rejoice : 

In the full living beauty still rejoice ! 

Let the creative power your spirits bound 

With love's eternal and benign control, 

And Eeing's changeful forms that hover round, 

Arrest in thoughts, enduring as the soul. 

{Heaven closes, the Archangels disperse.) 


The ancient one I like sometimes to see. 
And not to break with him am always civil ; 
'Tis courteous in a lord so great as he, 
To speak so kindly even to the devil. 


A high vaulted narrow Gothic chamber 
Faust restless seated at his desk. 


Fvc now alas l Philosophy, 

Med' cine and Jurisprudence too. 

And to my cost Theology, 

With ardent labour studied through. 

And here I stand, with all my lore. 

Poor fool, no wiser than before. 

Master, ay doctor styl'd, indeed, 

Ah'eady these ten years I lead. 

Up, down, across, and to and fro. 

My pupils by the nose, and learn, 

That we in truth can nothing know! 

This in my heart like fire doth burn. 

True, I've more wit than all your solemn foois; 

Priests, doctors, scribes, magisters of the schools^ 

Nor doubts, nor scruples torture now my breast; 

No dread of hell or devil mars my rest ; 

Hence is my heart of every joy bereft; 

No faith in knowledge to my soul is left ; 

No longer doth the hope delude my mind, 

By truth to better and convert mankind. 

Then I have neither goods, nor treasure, 

No worldly honour, rank, or pleasure ; 

No dog would longer such a life desire I 

Hence I've applied to magic, to inquire 

Whether the spirit's voice and power to me 

May not unveil full many a mystery ; 

That I no more, the sweat upon my brow, 

Need speak of things, of which I nothing know; 

That I may recognise the hidden ties 

That bind creation s inmost energies; 



Her vital powers, her embryo seeds survey, 
And fling the trade in empty words away. 

Thou full-orb' d moon ! Would thou wert gazing now^ 

For the last time upon my troubl'd brow! 

Beside this desk, at midnight, seated here, 

Oft have I watch' d to hail thy soothing beam ; 

Then, pensive friend, thou cam'st, my soul to cheer; 

Shedding o'er books and scrolls thy silv'ry gleam. 

Oh that I could, in thy beloved light, 

Now wander freely on some Alpine height; 

Could I round mountain caves with spirits ride, 

In thy mild radiance o'er the meadows glide, 

/ind purg'd from knowledge-fumes, my strength renew. 

Bathing my spirit in thy healing dew. 

Woe's me! still prison' d in the gloom 
Of this abhorr'd and musty room. 
Where heaven's dear light itself doth nam. 
But dimly through the painted glass! 
Girt round with volumes thick with dust, 
A prey to worms and mould' ring rust, 
And to the high vault's topmost bound, 
With smoky paper compass' d roimd; 
Boxes in strange confusion hurl'd, 
Glasses and antique lumber, blent 
With many a curious instrument — 
This is thy w^orld! a precious world! 

And dost thou ask why heaves thy heart, 

With tighten' d pressure in thy breast? 

WTiy the dull ache will not depart, 

By which thy life-pulse is oppress'd? 

Instead of nature's living sphere, 

Created for mankind of old. 

Brute skeletons surround thee here. 

And dead men's bones in smoke and mould 

Up ! Forth into the distant land ! 
Is not this book of mystery 
By Nostradam's prophetic hand. 
All all -sufficient guide? Thou' It see 


ITie planeiary orbs unroll'd ; 

When nature doth her thoughts unfold 

To thee, thy soul shall rise, and seek 

Communion high with her to hold, 

As spiiit doth with spirit speak! 

Vain by dull poring to divine 

The meaning of each hallow' d sign. 

Spirits ! I feel you hov'ring near ; 

Make answer, if my voice ye hear ! 

{^He opens the hook and per celt es the sign of Macro* 

Ah ! at this spectacle through every sense, 

What sudden ecstasy of joy is flowing! 

I feel new rapture, hallow' d and intense. 

Through every nerve and vein with ardour glowing. 

Was it a god who character'd this scroll, , 

Which stills my inward tumult; to niy heart. 

Wither' d and sick, new rapture doth impart ; 

And by a mystic impulse, to my soul, 

Unveils the working of the wondrous whole. 

Am I a God ? What light intense ! 

In these pure symbols I distinctly see, 

Nature exert her vital energy. 

Now of the wise man's words I learn the sense : 

" Unlock' d the realm of spirits lies ;— 

Thy sense is shut, thy heart is dead! 

Scholar, with quenchless ardour, rise. 

And bathe thy breast in the morning red !" 

(^He contemplates the sii/n,) 
How all things live and work, and ever blending, 
Weave one vast whole from Being's ample range! 
How powers celestial, rising and descending. 
Their golden buckets ceaseless interchange ! 
Their flight on rapture-breathing pinions winging. 
From heaven to earth their genial influence bringing, 
j Through the wide whole their chimes melodious ringing. 

I A wondrous show! but ah! a show alone! 
j Where shall I grasp thee, infinite nature, w^here ? 
Ye breasts, ye fountains of all life, whereon 


Hang heaven and earth, from which the blighted soul 
YearLeth to draw sweet solace, still ye roll 
Your sweet and fostering tides — ^where are ye— where I 
Ye gush, and must I languish in despair 1 

(^He turns over the leaves of the hooh impatiently^ atu: 
perceives the sign of the Earth- spirit.) 
How differently this sign affects me ! Thou, 
Spirit of earth, to me art nigher, 
My energies are rising higher, 
As from new wine I feel a quick' ning glow ; 
Courage I feel to stem the tide of life. 
To suffer weal and woe, man's earthly lot. 
When warring tempests rage to share their strife, 
And 'midst the crashing wreck to tremble not. 
Clouds gather over me — 
The moon conceals her light — 
The lamp is quench' d! 

Vapours are rising ! Quiv'ring round my head 
Flash the red beams. Down from the vaulted roof 
A shuddering horror floats, 
And seizes me ! 

I feel it, spirit, prayer-compell'd, 'tis thou 
Art ho v' ring near. 
Unveil thyself ! 

Ha ! How my heart is riven now ! 
Each sense, with eager palpitation. 
Is strain' d to catch some new sensation. 
I feel my heart surrender'd imto thee ! 
Thou must! Thou must! Though life should be the fee! 
(ZTc? sehes the booh^ and pronounces mysteriously the sign of 

the spis'it, A ruddy jiame flashes up; the spirit appears 

in the flame,) 


Who calls on me? 

FAUST. (^Turning aside) 

Appalling shape ! 


With might, 
Thou hast compeird me from my sphere, 
Long hast thou striv'n to draw me here. 
And now — 



Torture ! I cannot bear tliy sight. 


To know me thou clid'st breathe a fervent prayer, 
To bear my voice, to gaze npon my brow. 
Me doth thine earnest adjuration bow — 
Lo I I am here ! — What pitiful despair 

Grasps thee, the demigod? Where's now the soul's deep cry ^ 

Where is the breast, which in its depths a world couceiv d, 

And bore and cherish' d; which, with ecstasy, 

To rank itself with us, the spirits, heav'd? 

Where art thou, Faust ? whose voice I heard resound^ 

Who towards me press' d with energy profound? 

Art thou he? Thou, — whom thus my breath can blight. 

Whose inmost being trembles with afii-ight, 

A crush' d and writhing worm! 


Shall I yield, thing of flame, to thee ? 
Faust, and thine equal, I am he ! 


In the currents of life, in action's storm, 

I float and I wave 

With billowy motion! 

Birth and the grave, 

A limitless ocean, 

A constant weaving 

With change still ri 

A restless heaving, 

A glowing life, 
Thus time's whizzing loom unceasing 1 ply. 
And weave the life-garment of deity. 


Spirit, whose restless energy doth sweep 
The ample world, how near I feel to thee! 


Thou'rt like the spliit whom thou can'st conceive , 
Not me! {Vamshs.} 
FAUST {deeply moved). 

Not thee? 

Whom then? 

I, God's own image! 




And not lank with thee ! (a kfiock.) 

Oh death I I know it — 'tis my famulus—- 

My fairest fortune now escapes! 

That all these visionary shapes 

A soulless groveller should banish thus! 

(Wagner m his dressing-gown and night-cap, a lamp 
in his hand. Faust turns round veluctanthj 


Tour pardon, Sir! I heard you here declaim; 
A Grecian tragedy you doubtless read. 
Improvement in this art is now my aim. 
For now-a-days it much avails. Indeed 
An actor, oft I've heard it said at least, 
May give instruction even to a priest. 


Ay, if your priest should be an actor too, 
As not improbably may come to pass. 


When in his study pent the whole year through, 
Man views the world, as through an optic glass. 
On a chance hoUday, and scarcely then, 
How by persuasion can he govern men? 


If feeling prompt not, if it doth not flow 

I Fresh from the spirit's depths, with strong control 

Swaying to rapture every list'ner's soul. 

Idle your toil; the chase you may forego! 

Brood o'er your task! Stray thoughts together glue, 

Cook from another's feast your own ragout, 

StiU prosecute your miserable game, * 

And fan your paltry ash-heaps into flame ! 

Thus children's wonder you'll perchance excite 

And apes' applause, if such your appetite : 

But that which issues from the heart, alone 

Will bend the hearts of others to your owtl, 


But in delivery will the speaker find 
Success alone ; I still am far behind. 


A worthy object still pursue ! 
Be not a hoUow tinkling foci! 


Oood sense, sound reason, judgment true, 

Find utterance without art or rule ; 

And when with genuine earnestness you speak, 

Then is it needful cunning words to seek? 

Your fine harangues, so polish' d in their kind, 

Wherein the shreds of human thought ye twist, 

Are unrefreshing as the empty wind, 

Whistling through wither' d leaves and autumn mist. 


Oh Heavens ! art is long and life is short ! 
Still as I prosecute with earnest zeal 
The critic's toil, I'm haunted by this thought. 
And vague misgivings o'er my spirit steal. 
The very means how hardly are they v»^on, 
By which we students to the fountains rise ! 
And then, perchance, ere half his labour's done, 
Check'd in his progress, the poor devil dies. 


Is parchment then the consecrated spring 

From which, he thirsteth not, who once hath quaffed? 

Oh, if it gush not from the depths within, 

Thou hast not won the soul-reviving draught. 


Yet surely 'tis delightful to transport 

Oneself into the spirit of the past, 

To see before us how a wise man thought, 

And what a glorious height we've reach'd at last. 


Ay truly! even to the loftiest star! 
A seal'd-up volume, seven-fold sealed are 
To us, my friend, the ages that are pass'd; 
And what the spirit of the times men call, 
Is merely their own spirit after all, 
Wherein, distorted oft, the times are glass'd. 
Then truly 'tis a sight to grieve the soul! 
At the first glance we fly it in dismay; 
A very lumber-room, a rubbish-hole f 
At best a sort of mock-heroic play, 
With saws pragmatical, and maxims sage, 
To suit the puppets and their mimic ^tsiffjd. 

o 2 




But then the world and man, his heart and brain! 
Touching these things all men would something know 


Ay ! what 'mong men as knowledge doth obtain ! 
Who on the child its true name dares bestow? 
The few who somewhat of these things have known. 
Who their full hearts unguardedly reveal' d, 
Nor thoughts, nor feelings, from the mob conceal'^, 
Have died on crosses, or in flames been thrown. 
Excuse me, 'tis the deep of night, my friend, 
We must break off, and for the present end. 


I fain would keep awake the whole night through, 

Thus to converse so learnedly with you. 

To-morrow, being Easter-day, I hope 

A few more questions you will let me bring. 

With zeal I've aim'd at learning's amplest scope; 

True, I know much, but would know everything. {Exit.) 

FAIJST (alone). 
How he alone is ne'er bereft of hope. 
Who clings to tasteless trash with zeal untir'd. 
Who doth, with greedy hand, for treasure grope. 
And finding earthworms, is with joy inspir'd! 

And dare a voice of merely human birth, 

E'en here, where shapes immortal throng'd, intrude ? 

Yet ah ! thou poorest of the sons of earth, 

For once, I e'en to thee feel gratitude. 

Jlespair the power of sense did well-nigh blast, 

And thou didst save me ere I sank dismay' d; 

So giant-like the vision seem'd, so vast, 

I felt myself shrink dwarf 'd as I survey' d. 

I, God's own image, who already hail'd 
The mirror of eternal truth unveil' d. 
Who, freed already from this toil of clay, 
In splendour revell'd and celestial day:— 
I, more than cherub, whose unfetter' d soul 
With penetrative glance aspir'd to flow 
Through nature's veins, and, still creating, know 
The life of gods, — ^how am I punish'd now! 
Or.c thunder- wnr^J hath hurl'd tno from the goal I 


Spirit ! I dare not lift me to thy sphere. 

What though my power compell'd thee to appear. 

My art was powerless to detain thee here. 

In that great moment, rapture fraught, 

I felt myself so small, so great; 

You thrust me fiercely from the realm of thought, 

Back on Inimanity's uncertain fate. 

Who'll teach me now? What ought I to forego ? 

Shall I that impulse of the soul obey ? 

Alas ! our very actions as our woe. 

Alike impede the tenor of our way! 

E'en to the noblest by the soul conceiv'd, 
Some feelings cling of baser quality ; 
And w4ien the goods of this w^orld are achiev'd, 
Each nobler aim is term'd a cheat, a lie. 
Our aspiraaons, our soul's genuine life, 
Grow torpid in the diji of worldly strife. 

Though youthful phantasy, while hope inspires, 
Stretch o'er the infinite her wing sublime, 
A narrow compass limits her desires. 
When wreck'd oiu: fortunes in the gulph of time. 
In the deep heart of man, care builds her nest. 
O'er sorrows undefin'd she broodeth there, 
And, rocking ceaseless, scareth joy and rest; 
Still is she w^ont some new disguise to wear, 
As house, land, wife, or child, or kindred blood. 
As sword or poison'd cup, as fire or flood ; 
We tremble before ills that ne'er assail, 
And what we ne'er shall lose w^e still bewail. 

I rank not with the gods ! I feel with dread. 
That the mean earth-worm I resemble more. 
Which still is crush' d beneath the wanderer's tread. 
As in its native dust it loves to bore. 

And may not all as worthless dust be priz'd, 
That in these hundred shelves confines me round ? 
E-ubbish, in many a specious form disguis'd, 
That in this moth-world doth my being bound ? 
Here shall I satisfy my craving soul ? 
Here mist 1 read in many a pond'rous scroll. 



That here and there one mortal hath been blest. 

Self-torture still the portion of the rest? — 

Thou hollow skull, what means that grin of thine ? 

But that thy brain, bewilder'd once, like mine. 

Sought, yearning for the truth, the light of day, 

And in the twilight wander' d far astray ? 

Ye instruments, forsooth, ye mock at me,— 

With w^heel, and cog, and ring, and cylinder, 

To nature's portals ye should be the key ; 

Your wards are intricate, yet fail to stir 

Her bolts. Inscrutable in broadest light, 

To be unveil'd by force she doth refuse. 

What she reveals not to thy mental sight, 

Thou wilt not wrest from her with bars and screws. 

Old useless furnitures ! Ye still are here, 

Because my sires ye serv'd in tintes long past ! 

Old scroll ! The smoke of years thou yet dost wear. 

As when yon lamp its sickly ray first east. 

Better have squander' d at an earlier day 

My paltry means, than 'neath its weight to groan ! 

Woidd'st thou possess thy heritage, essay 

By active use to render it thine own. 

What we employ not, but impedes our way ; 

What it brings forth the hour can use alone. 

But why doth yonder spot attract my sight ? 

Is yonder flask a magnet to my gaze ? 

Whence this mild radiance, as when Cynthia's light|> 

Amid the forest-gloom, around us plays ? 

Hail, precious phial ! Thee, with reverent awe, 
Down from thine old receptacle I draw; 
Science in thee I hail and human art; 
Essence of deadliest powers, refin'd and sure, 
Of soothing anodynes abstraction pure. 
Now in thy master's need thy grace impart I 
I gaze on thee, my pain is lull'd to rest ; 
I grasp thee, calm'd the tumult in my breast ; 
The flood-tide of my spirit ebbs av/ay; 
Onward I'm summon'd o'er a boundless maiii^ 
Calm at my feet expands the glassy plain. 
To shores unknown allures a bri2:]iter iay. 


Lo, where a car of fire, on airy pinion, 

-Jomes floating towards me I I'm prepar'd to % 

By a new track through ether's wide dominion, 

To distant spheres of pure activity. 

This life intense ! This godlike ecstasy ? 

Worm that thou art, such rapture can'st thou earn? 

Only resolve with coiu-age stern and high, 

Thy visage from the radiant sun to turn ! 

Dare with determin'd will to burst the portals 

Past which in terror others fain would steal ; 

Now is the time to testify that mortals 

The calm sublimity of gods can feel. 

To shudder not at yonder dark abyss, 

Throng'd with self- torturing fancy's grisly brood; 

Eight onward to the yawning gulph to press, 

Round whose dark entrance rolls hell's fiery flood ; 

With glad resolve to take the fatal leap. 

E'en though thy soul should sink to endless sleep ! 

Pure crystal goblet, forth I draw thee now. 
From out thine antiquated case, where thou 
Forgotten hast repos'd for many a year. 
Oft at my father's revels thou didst shine, 
Gladd'ning the earnest guests with gen'rous wine 
As each the other pledg'd with sober cheer. 

The gorgeous brede of figures, quaintly wrought. 
Which he who quaff'd must first in rhyme expoimd. 
Then drain the goblet at one draught profound. 
Hath nights of boyhood to fond memory brought ; 
I to my neighbour shall not reach thee now, 
Nor on thy rich device my cunning show ; 
Here is a juice makes drunli without delay ; 
Its dark brown flood thy crystal roimd doth fill; 
Let this last draught, the product of my skill. 
My own free choice, be quaff'd with resolute will, 
A solemn greeting to the coming day! 

{He places the goblet to 7m mouth,) 
[The ringing of hells, and choral voices.^ 



Chorus of Angels. 
Christ is arisen ! 
IMortal, all hail to thee. 
Thou whom mortality, 
Earth's sad reality, 
Held as in prison. 


\Vliat hum melouious, what clear, silv'ry chime. 
Thus di*aws the goblet from my lips away? 
Ye deep-ton'd bells, do ye with voice sublime. 
Announce the solemn dav*^n of Easter-day? 
Sweet choir! are ye the hymn of comfort singiug^ 
Which once around the darkness of the grave. 
From seraph- voices, in glad triumph ringing. 
Of a new covenant assurance gave ? 


Embalm'd with spices rare. 
In sorrow and in gloom, 
His faithful followers bare 
His body to the tomb. 
For their sepulchral rest, 
We swath' d the reliques dear; 
Ah! vain is now our quest, 
Christ is no longer here ! 


Christ is arisen ! 
Perfect through earthly ruth, 
Radiant Avith love and truth. 
Girt vdth eternal youth. 
He soars from earth's prison. 


Wherefore, ye tones celestial, sweet and strong. 
Come ye a dweller in the dust to seek ? 
King out your chimes believing crowds among, 
I hear the message, but my faith is weak; 
From faith her darling, miracle, hath sprung. 
I dare not soar aloft to yonder spheres 
Whence sound the joyfid tidings ; yet this strain. 
Familiar even from my boyhood's years. 
Binds me io earth, as with a mystic chain. 


Then would celestial love, with holy kiss, 

Come o'er me in the Sabbath's stilly hour, 

While, fraught with solemn and mysterious power, 

Chim'd the deep-sounding bell, and prayer was bliss; 

A yearning impulse, undefin'd yet dear, 

Drove me to wander on through wood and field ; 

With heaving breast and many a bui-ning tear, 

I felt with holy joy a world reveal* d. 

This Easter hymn announc'd, with joyous pealing. 

Gay sports and festive hours in times of old, 

And early memories, fraught with child-like feeling. 

From death's dark threshold now my steps withholcL 

O still sound on, thou sweet celestial strain, 

Tears now are gushing, — Earth, I'm thine again ! 


O'er death itself victorious. 
Whom we interr'd in love, 
Exalted now and glorious 
Is rais'd to realms above. 
Near the creative spirit 
Joys aye-increasing flow. 
Ah! we on earth inherit 
Disquietude and woe. 
He left us here in anguish. 
His glory we bemoan, 
For ah, our spirits languish, 
We're comfortless, alone. 


Christ is arisen, 
Redeem'd from dfecay; 
The bonds which imprison 
Your souls, rend away! 
Praising the Lord with zeal. 
By deeds that love reveal, 
Like brethren true and leal 
Sharing the daily meal. 
To all that sorrow feel 
Wliisp'ring cf heaven's weal. 
Still is the master near. 
Still is he with you here! 

Before tti/:: Gate. 
Promenaders of all sorts pasz aut 


Why choose ye that direction, pray? 


To the Jager-house we're on our way. 


We towards the mill are strolling on. 


A walk to W asserhof were best. 


The road is not a pleasant one. 


What will you do : 


1*11 join the rest. 


Let's up to Burghof, there you'll find good cheer*. 
The prettiest maidens and the stoutest beer, 
And brawls of a prime sort. 


You scapegrace ! Hov/ ; 
Your skin still itching for a row ? 
I will not go, I loathe the place. 


No, no! To town I will my steps retrac^ 


Near yonder poplars he is sure to be. 


And if he is, what matters it to me ! 

With you he'll walk, he'll dance with none but you,, 

And with your pleasures what have I to do? 



rilE SECONli. 

To-day he will not be alone, he said 

His friend would be with him, the curly hea(L 


"Why how those buxom girls step on! 
Brother, we'll follow them anon. 
Strong beer, a damsel smartly dress' d, 
Stinging tobacco, — these I love the best. 

citizen's daugiitek. 
Look at those handsome fellows there! 
'Tis really shameful, I declare, 
The best society they shun, 
After those servant-girls forsooth, to run. 

SECOND student [to the jirst)* 
Not quite so fast ! for in our rear, 
Two girls, well-di'ess'd, are drawing near; 
Not far from us the one doth dwell, 
And sooth to say, I like her well. 
They walk demurely, yet you'll see, 
They'll let us join them presently. 

the fikst. 
Not I ! restraints of all kinds I detest. 
Quick ! let us catch the game before it flies, 
The hand on Saturday the mop that plies. 
Will on the Sunday fondle you the best. 


This Burgomaster likes me not ; each hour 
He grows more insolent now he's in power. 
And for the town, what doth he do for it? 
Is it not growing worse from day to day? 
To more restrictions we must still submit ; 
Ay, and more taxes now than ever pay. 

Beggar sings. 
Kind gentlemen and ladies fair, 
So rosy-cheek'd and trimly dress'd. 
Be pleas'd to listen to my praj^ei'. 
Relieve and pity the dlstri^ss'd. 
Let me not vainly sing my lay ! 
His heart's most glad whose hand is free^ 
Now when all men keep holiday, 
Should be a harvest-day to me. 




I know nought better of a holiday, 
Than chatting about war and war's alarms, 
When folk in Turkey are all up in arms, 
Fighting their deadly battles far away, 
AV^ithin the w^indow we our glasses drain, 
Watch do^\^l the stream the painted vessels glide> 
Then, blessing peace and peaceful times, again 
Homeward we turn our steps at eventide. 


Ay, neighbour ! So let matters stand for me I 
There they may scatter one another's brains, 
And hurly-bm-ly innovations see — 
So here at home all undisturb'd remains. 


Heyday ! How smart ! The fresh young blood ! 
Who would not fall in love with you ? 
Not quite so proud ' 'Tis well and good ! 
And what you wish, that I could help you to. 

citizen's daughter. 
Come, Agatha ! I care not to be seen 
Walking in public with these witches. True, 
My future lover, last St. Andrew's E'en, 
In flesh and blood she brought before my view. 


And mine she show'd me also in the glass, 
A soldier's figure, with companions bold ; 
I look around, I seek him as I pass. 
In vain, his form I nowhere can behold. 


Towns with walls 
Encompass' d round, 
IMaids with lofty 
Beauty crown'd. 
On ! regardless 
Of the toil! 
Bold the venture, 
Hich tho spoil ! 


And the trumpet'^ 
Martial breath. 
Calls to pleasure, 
Calls to death. 
Mid the tumult 
There is rapture; 
Maids and fortress^ 
Both we capture. 
Bold the venture, 
Bich the prize ! 
Onward then 
The soldier hies. 

Faust and Wagner. 


Loos'd jS-om their icy fetters, streams and rilk 
In spring's effusive, quick' ning, mildness flow ; 
Hope's budding promise every valley fills, 
And winter, spent with age, and powerless ncvv^ 
Draws off his forces to the savage hills. 
Thence he discharges nought in his retreat. 
Save, ever and anon, a drizzling shower, 
Striping the verdant fields with snow and sleets 
But white the sun endures not, — vital power, 
Productive energy, abroad are rife, 
Investing all things with the hues of Kfe ; 
And joyous crowds, in suits of varied dye. 
The absent charm of blooming flowers supply. 
Now hither turn, and from this height 
Back to the town direct your sight. 
Forth from the arch'd and gloomy gate, 
The multitudes, in bright array. 
Stream forth, and seek the sun's warm raj . 
Their risen Lord they celebrate, 
For they themselves have also risen to-day! 
From the mean tenement, the sordid rooni. 
From manual craft, from toil's imperious sway^ 
From roofs' and gables' overhanging gloom. 
From the close pressure of the narrow street. 
And from the churches' venerable night. 
They've issued now from darkness into light ; 
^ook, only look, how borne on nimble feet, 



Through fields and gardens roam the scatter" d throng ^ 

How o'er yon peaceful water's ample sheet, 

Gay wherries, pleasure-laden, glide along ; 

And see, deep sinking in the yielding tide, 

The last now leaves the shore ; e'en from yon height^ 

The winding paths along, which mark its side, 

Gay-colour' d dresses flash upon the sight. 

And hark ! the sounds of village mirth arise ; 

This is the people'^s genuine paradise. 

Both great and small send up a joyous cheer ; 

Yes ! I am still & man, — I feel it here. 


Sir doctor, in a walk with you 
There's honour and instruction too ; 
Alone I would not here resort, 
Coarseness I hate of every sort. 
This fiddling, shouting, bawling, I detest ; 
I hate the tumult of the vulgar throng ; 
They roar as by the evil one possess' d, 
And call the discord pleasiu-e, call it song. 

PEASANTS {imder the linden-tree). 
Dance arid song. 
The shepherd for the dance was di-ess'd. 
With ribbon, wreath, and coloured vest, 
He made a gallant show. 
And roimd about the linden-tree, 
They footed it right merrily. 

Juchhe ! Juchhe ! 

Juchheisa ! Heisa ! He ! 
So went the fiddle-bow. 

Our swain amidst the circle press'd, 
He push'd a maiden trimly dress'd, 
And jogg'd her with his elbow; 
The l3uxom damsel turn'd her head, 
" Now that's a stupid trick she said, 

Juchhe! Juchhe! 

Juchheisa ! Heisa .! He ! 
Don't be so rude, good fellow! 

Swiftly they foot it in the ring, 
Abroad the ample kirtles swin{^, 

Now nglit, now left they go. 

And they grow red, and they grow wami, 

And now rest, panting, arm in arm, 

Juchhe! Juchhe! 

J uehheisa ! Heisa ! He ! 
Upon their hip their elbow ! 

Stand off! Don't plague me ! many a maid 
Has been betroth'd and then betray'd : 
No man shall me befool so ! 
Yet still he flatter'd her aside. 
And from the linden, far and wide 

Juchhe ! Juchhe ! 

Juchheisa ! I leisa ! He ! 
lling shout and fiddle-bow. 


Doctor, 'tis really kind of you, 

To condescend to come this way, 

And deeply learned as you are. 

To join our mirthful throng to-day. 

Our fairest cup I offer you. 

Which we with sparkling drink have crown'cl, 

And pledging you, I pray aloud. 

That every drop within its round, 

While it your present thirst allays, 

May swell the mmiber of your days. 


I take the cup you kindly reach. 
Health ar.d prosperity to each ! 

{The crowd gather round ir% a arclia.) 


Ay, truly! 'tis well done, that you 

Our festive meetings thus attend ; 

You, who in evil days of yore, 

So often shew'd yourself our friend 

Full many a one stands living here, 

Who from the fever's deadly blast, 

^our father rescu'd, when his skill 

The fatal sickness stay'd at last. 

A young man then, each house you sougnt, 



Where reign'd tae moi-tal pestilence^ 
Corpse after corpse was carried forth, 
But still unscath'd you issued thence. 
Sore then your trials and severe ; 
The Helper yonder aids the helper here. 


Heaven bless the trusty friend, and long 
To help the poor his life prolong 1 


To him above in grateful homage bend, 

Who prompts the helper and the help doth send. 

{^He proceeds with Waqn 


With what emotions must your heart o'erflow, 

Receiving thus the rev'rence of the crowd ! 

Great man ! How happy, who like you doth knov^r 

.Rightly to use the gifts by heaven bestow'd! 

You to the son the father shows ; 

They press around, inquire, advance, 

Hush'd is the music, check'd the dance. 

Still where you pass they stand in rows. 

The caps fly upwards, and almost. 

To you they bow, as to the host, 


A few steps further, up to yonder stone ; 

Here rest we from our walk. In times long pas - 

Absorb' d in thought, here oft I sat alone, 

And disciplin'd myself with prayer and fast. 

Then rich in hope, possess'd with faith sincere, 

With sighs, and groans, and hands in anguish press' 

The end of that sore plague, with many a tear, 

From the dread Lord of heaven I sought to wrest. 

These praises have to me a scornful tone. 

Oh, could'st thou in my inner being read. 

And learn how little either sire or son, 

Of thanks deserve the honourable meed ! 

My sire, of good repute and sombre mood, 

O'er nature's powers and every mystic zone. 

With honest zeal, but methods of his own, 

Still lov'd, with toil fantastiofrl to brood. 


Secluded in Lis dark, alchemic cell. 

His time with brother adepts he ^vould spend. 

And after numberless receipts, compel 

Opposing elements to fuse and blend. 

A ruddy lion there, a suitor bold, 

In tepid bath was with the lily wed. 

Thence both, while open flames around them rolTd, 

Were tortur'd to another bridal bed. 

Did then the youthful queen at length arise 

In our alembic, bright with varied dyes. 

Our med'cine this, who took it soon expired, 

"Who were by it recovered?" none inquired. 

With our infernal mixture, thus, ere long, 

These hills and peaceful vales among, 

We rag'd more fiercely than the pest; 

Myself to thousands did the poison give, 

They pin'd away, I yet must live. 

To hear the reckless murderers blest. 


Why let this thought your spirit overcast? 
Can man do more than with nice skill, 
With firm and conscientious will, 
Practise the art transmitted from tlie past? 
If duly you revere your sire in youth. 
His lore, with docile mind, you will receive; 
In manhood, if you spread the bounds of triith. 
Then may your son a higher goal achieve. 


How blest is he whom still the hope inspires, 

To lift himself from error's turbid flood ! 

The knowledge which he hath not man requires. 

With what he hath, he nought achieves of good. 

But let not moody thoughts their shadow throw 

O'er the calm beauty of this hour serene ! 

In the rich sunset see how brightly glow 

Yon cottage homes, girt round with verdant gi^ecr.. 

Slow sinks the orb, the cay is now no more ; 

Yonder be hastens to dijilise new life. 

Oh for a pinion from the earth to soar, 

And after, ever after him to strive ! 

Then should I see the world outspread below, 

niumin'd by the deathless evening-beams, 

The vales reposing, every height a-glow, 

The silver brooklets meeting golden streams. 

The savage mountain, with its cavern'd side, 

Bars not my godlike progress. Lo, the ocean. 

Its warm bays heaving with a tranquil motior^ 

To my rapt vision opes its ample tide ! 

But now at length the god appears to sink; 

A gushing impulse wings anew my flight. 

Onward I press his quenchless light to drink, 

The day before me, and behind the night, 

The waves below, above the vaulted skies. 

Fair dream, it vanish' d with the parting day» 

Alas! that when on spirit- wiL^g we rise. 

No wing material lifts our mortal clay. 

But 'tis our inborn impulse, deep and strong. 

To rush aloft, to struggle still towards heaven, 

When far above us, pours its thrilling song 

The sky-lark, lost amid the purple even ; 

When on extended pinion sweeps amain 

The lordly eagle o'er the pine-crown'd height; 

And when, still striving towards its home, the craiio 

O'er moor and ocean wings its onward flight. 


To strange conceits myself at times must own. 
But impulse such as thi^: I ne'er have knowm ; 
"Nor woods, nor fields, can long om- thoughts engagr>. 
Their wings I envy not the feathered kind; 
Far otherwise the pleasures of the mind. 
Bear us from book to book, from page to page! 
Then winter nights grow cheerful; keen delight 
Warms every limb ; and ah ! when we unroll 
Some old and precious parchment, at the sight 
All heaven itself descends upon the soul. 


Your heart by one sole impulse is possess'd; 
Unconscious of the other still remain ! 
Two souls, alas! are lodg'd within my breast. 
Which struggle there for undivided reign 
One to the world, with obstinate desire, 
A.nd closely- cleaving organs, still adheres 


Above the mist, the other doth aspire, 
With sacred vehemence, to purer spheres. 
Spirits, if ye indeed arc hov'ring near. 
Wielding 'twixt heaven and earth potential sway, 
Stoop hither from your golden atmosphere, 
And bear me to more varied life away! 
A magic mantle did I but possess. 
Abroad to waft me as on viewless wings, 
I'd prize it far beyond the costliest dress. 
Nor would I change it for the robe of kiugs. 


Oall not the spirits who on mischief wait! 

Their troop familiar, streaming through the air. 

From every quarter threaten man's estate. 

And danger in a thousand forms prepare. 

They drive impetuous from the frozen north. 

With fangs sharp-piercing, and keen arrowy tongues 

From the ungenial east they issue forth. 

And prey, with parching breath, upon your lungs ; 

If, wafted on the desert's flaming wing. 

They from the south heap fire upon the brain. 

Refreshing moisture from the west they bring. 

Then with huge torrents deluge field and plain. 

In wait for mischief, they are prompt to hear; 

With guileful purpose our behests obey ; 

Like ministers of grace they oft appear. 

And with an angel's voice our trust betray. 

But let us hence ! Grey eve doth all things blend. 

The air grows chilly, and the mists descend ! 

'Tis in the evening first ovir home we prize — 

Why stand you thus, and gaze with wond'ring eyes? 

WTiat in the gloom thus moves you ? 


Yon black hound, 
Sec'st thou, through corn and stubble scamp'ring round 


I've mark'd him long, but nothing strange I see! 


Note him. What should you take the brute to be? 


Merely a poodle, whom his instinct serves 
His master s missing track to find once more. 


Dost mark how round us, with wide spiral curves, 
He wheels, each circle closer than before r 
And, if I err not, he appears to me 
A fiery whirlpool in his track to leave. 


Kought but a poodle doth he seem to be ; 
'Tis some delusion doth your sight deceive. 


Methinks a magic coil our feet around. 
He for a future snare doth lightly spread. 


Round us in doubt I see him shyly bound. 
Two strangers seeing in his master's stead. 


The circle narrows, he's already near! 


A dog you see, no spectre have we here; 
He growls, he hesitates, he crouches too — 
And wags his tail — as dogs are wont to do. 


Come hither, Sirrah! join our company! 


A very poodle, he appears to be ! 
But speak to him, and on you he will spriag ; 
To sit on his hind legs, he knows the tricK ; 
Aught you may chance to lose, again he'll bring. 
And plunge into the water for your stick. 


You're right indeed; no traces now I see 
Whatever of a spirit's agency. 
'Tis training — nothing more. 


A dog well taught 
E'en by. the wisest of us may be sought. 
Ay^ to your favour he's entitled too. 
Apt scholar of the students, 'tis his due! 

{They enter the gate of tlu toimu) 



Faust, entering with the poodln^ 
Behind me now lie field and plain, 
As night her veil doth o'er them dra>\% 
Our better soul resumes her reign 
With feelings of foreboding awe. 
Luird is each stormy deed to rest. 
And tranquilliz'd each wild desire ; 
Pure charity doth warm the breast, 
And love to God the soul inspire. 

Poodle, be still! Cease up and down to rove* 
What on the threshold are you snuffing there? 
Here's my best cushion, lie behind the stove. 
As you amus'd me in the mountain air. 
With freak and gambol, like a quiet guest 
Receive my kindness now, and take your rest 

Ah ! when within our narrow room, 

The friendly lamp again doth glow ; 

An inward light dispels the gloom 

In hearts that strive themselves to know. 

Reason begins again to speak. 

Again the bloom of hope returns. 

The streams of life we fain would seek. 

Yea, for life's soui'ce our spirit yearns. 

Cease, poodle, cease to growl ! This brutish sound 
Accords not vd\h the pm^e and hallo w'd tone 
Whose influence o'er my soul now reigns alone. 
Among mankind, indeed, they oft are found, 
Who, what they do not understand, despise, 
And what is good and beautiful, contemn. 
Because beyond their sympathies it lies.— 
And will the poodle snarl at it like them? 

Rut ah! I feel, howe'er I yearn for rest, 
Content flows now no longer from my breast. 
Yet wherefore must the stream so soon be dry. 
And we again all parch' d and thirsting lie? 
This sad experience I've so oft approv'd; 
33ut still the want admits of compensation, 
We learn to treasure what's from sense remov'd. 
With yearning hearts, we long for revelation. 



And nowhere is the heavenly radiance sent 

So pure and bright as in the Testament. 

Towards the ancient text an impulse strong 

Moves me the volume to explore, 

And render faithfully its sacred lore, 

In the lov'd accents of the German tongue. 

{He opens a volume and applies himself to 

'Tis ^vrit, In the beginning was the Word!" 
I pause, perplex' d! Who now will help afford r 
I cannot the mere word so highly prize ; 
If by the spirit guided as I read, 
I must translate the passage otherwise. 
' In the beginning was the Sense!" Take heed, 
'J'he import of this primal sentence weigh, 
Lest your too hasty pen be led astray ! 
Doth sense work jdl things, and control the hour? 
'Tis writ " In the beginning was the Power!" 
Thus should it stand: yet while the w^ords I trace, 
I'm warn'd again the passage to effixce. 
The spirit aids : from anxious scruples freed, 
I write, " In the beginning was the Deed!" 

If I'm with you my room to share. 

Cease barking, poodle, and forbear 

My quiet thus to start! 

I cannot suffer in my cell 

Inmate so troublesome to dwell, 

Or you or I depart. 

I'm loath the guest-rite to withhold; 

The door's ajar, the passage clear; 

But what must now mine eyes behold! 

Are nature's laws suspended here? 

Is 't real, or a phantom show? 

In length and breadth how doth my poodle growl 

Aloft he lifts himself with threat'ning mien, 

In likeness of a dog no longer seen ! 

What spectre have I harbour' d thus ! 

Huge as a hippopotamus, 

With fiery eye, terrific jaw I 

Ah! thou art subject to my law! 

For such a base, half-hellish brood. 

The key of Solomon is good. 


SPIRITS (iVlthout). 

Captur'd there within is one! 
Stay without and follow none . 
Like a fox in iron snare, 
Hell's old lynx is quaking there. 

But take heed! 
Hover round, above, below, 

To and fro, 
ITien from durance is he freed . 
Can ye aid him, spirits all. 
Leave him not in mortal thrall I 
Many a time, and oft hath ho 
Serv'd us, when at liberty. 


The monster to confront, at first, 
The spell of four must be rehearsed 

Salamander shall kindle. 

Writhe nymph of the wave, 

In air sylph shall dwindle, 

And Kobold shall slave. 
The elements who doth not know. 
Nor can their powers and uses show. 
He were no master to compel 
Spirits, with charm and magic spell. 

Vanish in the fiery glow. 

Salamander ! 

Rushingly together flow, 
Undine ! 

Shimmer in the meteor's gleam, 

Hither bring thine homely aid, 

Incubus ! Incubus ! 

Step forth! I do adjure thee th'is 
None of the elemental four 
Doth within the crsaturc dwell; 
He lies, untroubVd as before, 
He grins at me, and mocks my spe 
By more potent magic stiU, 
I must compel him to my will. 

A fugitive from helFs confine 

Art hither come ? Then see this sijcra. 

PA I! ST. 

At whose dread power the grisly troop 
Of hellish fiends in terror stoop ! 

With bristling hair now doth the creature su'di 

Canst thou read him, reprobate ? 
The infinite, the increate. 
Bright essence, unpronounceable, 
Difius'd through the celestial sphere, 
Vilely transpierc'd, who sufier'd here ? 

O'er-master d by the potent spell, 

Behind the stove, the fiend of hell 

Huge as an elephant doth swell; 

Wide as the room expands the shap^ 

In mist he'll vanish and escape. 

Rise not the vaulted roof to meet 

Now lay thee at the master's feet 

Thou see'st that mine's no idle threat. 

With holy fire I'll scorch thee yet ! 

Come forth, thou progeny of night. 

Nor wait the tortm-e of thrice -glowing light ! 

Await not of mine art the utmost measure ! 


{As the mist sinl's, comes forward from behind ih^ 
stove ^ in the dress of a travelling scholar,) 
Why all this uproar ? What's the master's pleasure ? 


So this is then the kernel of the brute ! 

A travelling scholar ? Why I needs must smile 


Y our learned rev'rence humbly I salute ! 
You've made me swelter in a pretty style. 


Your name? 


The question trifling seems from one, 
Who it appears the W^ord doth rate so low ; 
Who, undeluded by mere outward show, 
To Being's depths would penetrate alone, 


With gentlemen like you we're wont indeed 
rhe inward essence from the name to read. 



As it doth all too obviously appear. 
When we, Destroyer, Liar, Fly-god, Iiear. 
Who then are you? 


Part of that power which Gtiil 
Produceth good, while it deviseth ill. 


W^hat hidden mystery in this riddle lies^ 


The spirit I, which evermore denies ! 
And justly too ; for whatsoe'er hath birth 
Deserves again to be reduc'd to nought; 
Better were nothing into being brought. 
Thus every essence which you sons of earth 
Destruction, sin, or bricfl}', Evil, name, 
As my peculiar element I claim. 


You call yom'self a part, yet, as it seems, 
Stand there a whole ? 


I speak the modest truth. 
Though folly's microcosm, man, forsooth, 
Himself to be a perfect whole esteems, 
Part of the part am I that once was all. 
A part of darkness, which gave birth to light. 
Proud light, who now his mother would enthrall. 
Contesting rank and space with ancient night. 
Yet he succeeds not, struggle as he will ; 
To forms material he adhereth still ; 
From them he streameth, them he maketh fair. 
And still the progress of his beams they check ; 
And so, I trust, when comes the final wreck, 
Light will, ere long, the doom of matter share. 


Your worthy avocation now I guess ! 
Wholesale annihilation w^on't prevail, , 
So you're beginning on a smaller scale. 


And, to say truth, as yet with small sucoefT. 
Oppos'd to nothingness, the world, 
This clumsy mass, subsisteth still; 
Not yet is it to ruin hurl'd. 



Despite tlie efforts of my will. 

Tempests and earthquakes, lire and flood, I've triel; 

Yet land and ocean still imchang'd abide I 

And then of beasts and men, the accursed brood,— 

Neither o'er them can I extend my sway. 

What countless myriads have I swept away! 

Yet ever circulates the fresh young blood. 

It is enough to drive me to despair ! 

As in the earth, in water, and in air, 

In moisture and in drought, in heat and cold* 

Thousands of germs their energies unfold ! 

If fire I had not for myself retained, 

No sphere whatever had for me remained. 


So then with your cold devil's fist, 
Still clench' d in malice impotent, 
You the creative power resist. 
The active, the beneficent ! 
Chaos' strange son ! elsewhere I pray 
Your mischief-working power essay I 


It should, in truth, be thought upon ; 
We'll talk about it more anon ! 
But have I now -Dermission to retire 


I see not why you should inquire. 
Since we're acquainted now, you're free. 
As often as you list, to call on me. 
There is the door, the w^indow here, 
Or there's the chimney. 


Sooth to say, 
There to my exit doth appear 
A trifling hindrance in the way ; 
The Druid-foot upon your threshold— 



You're by the pentagram embarrass' d now ? 
If that have power to hold you, son of hell, 
Say, how you came to enter in my cell ^ 
What could a snirit such as you deceive ? 


The drawing is rot perfect ; by your leave. 
The outward angle is not fairly clos'd. 


Chance hath the matter happily disposed ! 

So you're my prisoner then ? You're nicely cau 


In sprang the dog, indeed, observing nought ; 
The matter now assumes another shape. 
The devil's in the house and can't escape. 


But why not through the window ? 


'Tis a law. 

Binding on ghosts and devils, to withdraw 
The way they first stole in. We enter free. 
But, as regards our exit, slaves are we. 


E'en hell hath its peculiar laws, I see ! 
I'm glad of that, a binding compact, then, 
May be establish' d with you gentlemen ? 


Ay ! And the promis'd good therein express'd. 
Shall to a tittle be by you possess' d. 
But such arrangements time require ; 
We'll speak of them when next we meet ; 
Most earnestly I now entreat. 
This once permission to retire. 


Another moment prithee linger here, 
And give some fair prediction to mine ear, 


Now let me go ! ere long I'll come again, 
And you may question at your leisure then. 


To capture you I laid no snare. 
The net you enter' d of your own free will. 
Let him who holds the devil hold him still [ 
A second time he will not catch him there, 


If it so please you, I'm at your command; 
Only on this condition, understand ; 



That worthily your leisure to beguile, 
I here may exercise my arts awhile. 


You're free to d-^ i^ol Gladly I'll attend i 
But be your art d pleasant one ! 


My friend. 
This hour enjoyme^c more intense. 
Shall captivate each ravished sense, 
Than thou could'st compass in the bound 
Of the whole year's unvarying round ; 
And what the dainty spirits sing, 
The lovely images they bring, 
Are no fantastic sorcery. 
Kich odours shall regale your smell. 
On choicest sweets your ^^alate dwell. 
Your feelings thrill with ecstasy. 
No preparation we require, 
Now warble on my viewless quire ! 


Hence overshadowing glooiu 

Vanish from sight ! 

O'er us thine azure dome. 

Bend, beauteous light! 

Dark clouds that o'er us spread^* 

Melt in thin air ! 

Stars, your soft radiance shed, 

Tender and fair. 

Girt with celestial might. 

Winging their airy flight, 

Spirits are thronging. 

PoUows their forms of ligh 

Infinite longing'. 

Flutter their vestures bright 

O'er field and grove ! 

Where in their leafy bower 

Lovers the livelong hour 

Vow deathless love. 

Soft bloom eth bud and bo wit 

Bloometh the grove ! 

FAD ^T, 

Grapes from the spreading vino 

Crown the full measure; 

Fountains of foaming wine 

Gush from the pressure. 

Still where the currents win J, 

Gems brightly gleam. 

Lea^'ing the hills behind 

On rolls the stream ; 

Now into ample seas, 

Spreadeth the flood ; 

Laying the sunny leas, 

Mantled with wood. 

Rapture the feather' d tnrong, 

Gaily careering, 

Sip as they float along; 

Sunward they're steering ; 

On towards the isles of light 

Winging their way, 

That on the waters bright 

Dancingly i)lay. 

Hark to the choral strain, 

Jo^-fully ringing ! 

While on the grassy plain 

Dancers are springing: 

Climbing the steep hill's side, 

Skimming the glassy tide, 

Wander they there ; 

Others on pinions wide 

Wing t-lie blue air : 

On towards the living stream. 

Towards yonder stars that gleam^ 

Far, far away ; 

Seeking their tender beam 

Wing they their way. 


Well done my dainty spirits ! now he slumbers ! 
Ye have entranc'd him fairly with your numbers J 
This minstrelsy of yours I must repay. 
Thou'rt not the man to hold the devil it seems ! 
Now play around him with illusive dreams 
Until with ravishment his sense you take ; 
3ut tooth of rat I now require, to break 



This wizard spell ; brief conjuring will suffioo. 
One rustles towards me, and will soon appear. 

The master of the rats and mice, 
Of flies and frogs, of bugs and lice, 
Commands thy presence ; without fear 
Come forth and gnaw the threshold here. 
Where he with oil has smear'd it. — Thou 
Com'st hopping forth already ! Now 
To work ! The point that holds me boxmd 
Is in the outer angle found. 
Another bite — so — now 'tis done — 
Faust, till we meet again, dream on. 

FAUST {aivaking). 

Am I once more deluded ? must I deem 

This troop of thronging spirits all ideal ? 

The devil's presence, was it nothing real ? 

The poodle's disappearance but a dream ? 


Faust. Mephistopheles. 


A knock? Come in! Who now would break my rcKC? 




Come in ! 


Thrice be the words expresc'dj 


Then I repeat, Come in ! 


'Tis well. 

I hope that we shall soon agree ! 
For now, your fancies to expel, 
Here as a youth of high degree 
I'm come, in gold-lac'd scarlet vest, 
And stifF-silk mantle richly dress'd, 
A cock's gay feather for a plume, 
A long and pointed rapier, too; 

And briefly I would counsel you 
To don at once the same costume, 
And, free from trammels, speed away, 
That what life is you may essay. 


In every garb I needs must feel oppress'd, 
My heart to earth's low torturing cares a ]3rey. 
Too old I am the trifler's part to play, 
Too young, to live by no desire possessed. 
What can the world afford to ease my pain? 
Renounce ! renounce ! This the eternal song 
Which in our ears still rings, our whole life long; 
Each hour, in murmurs hoarse, repeats the strain. 
But to new horror I awake each morn. 
And I could weep hot tears, to see the sun 
Dawn on another day, whose round forlorn 
Accomplishes no wish of mine — not one. 
Which still, with froward captiousness, impairs 
E'en the presentiment of every joy. 
While low realities and paltry cares 
The spirit's fond imaginings destroy. 
And then when falls again the veil of night, 
Stretch'd on my couch I languish in despair; 
Appalling dreams my troubl'd soul affright; 
No soothing rest vouchsaf "d me even there. 
The god, who thron'd within my breast reside 
Deep in my inmost soul can stir the springs; 
With sovereign swa}^ my energies he guides, 
But hath no power to move external things ; 
And thus my very being I deplore, 
Death ardently desire, and life abhor. 


And yet, methinks, by most 'twill be confess'd 
That death is never quite a welcome guest. 


Happy the man around whose brow he binds 

The bloodstain' d wreath in conquest's dazzling hour 

Or whom, excited by the dance, he finds 

Dissolv'd in bliss, in love's delicious bower; 

Oh that before that lofty spirit's might. 

My soulj entranc' i, had sunk to endless night I 

FA Ui?r. 


Yet did a certain man, one night, refrain 
Of its brown juice the crystal bowl to drain.. 


To play the spy diverts you, then ? 


I own, 

Though not omniscieni, much to me is known. 


If o'er my soul the tone familiar, stealing. 

Drew me from harrowing thought's bewildering maze, 

Touching the lingering chords of childlike feeling, 

With the sweet harmonies of happier days ; 

So now I breathe my curse on all that windeth 

Its coil of magic influence round the soul. 

And with delusive flatt'ry fondly bindeth 

The wretched spirit to this dismal hole ! 

And before all, curs' d be the high opinion 

Wherewith the spirit girds itself around ! 

Of shows delusive curs' d be the dominion. 

Within whose mocking sphere our sense is bound! 

Accurs'd of lyir.g dreams the treacherous wiles, 

The cheat of glory, fame's exalted rage! 

Accurs'd as property what each beguiles. 

As wdfe and child, as slave and heritage ! 

Accurs'd be mammon, when with treasure 

lie doth to daring deeds incite ; 

Or when to steep the soul in pleasure, 

He spreads the couch of soft delight. 

Curs'd be the grape's balsamic juice ! 

Accurs'd love's dream, of joys the first! 

Accurs'd be hope! accurs'd be faith! 

And more than all, be patience curs'd! 


Woe! woe! 

Thou hast destroy'd 

The beautiful wor]d 

With violent blow; 

*Tis sliiver'd! 'tis vshatter'dl 

The fragments abroad by a demigod sjatter'dt 

Now we sweep 


The wrecks into nothingness! 

Fondly we weep 

The beauty that's gone ! 

Thou, 'mongst the sons of earth, 

Lofty and mighty one, 

Build it once more ! 

In thine own bosom the lost world restom ■ 
Now with unclouded sense 
Enter a new career ; 
Songs shall salute thine ear^ 
Ne'er heard before ! 


My little ones these spirits be. 
Hark ! with shrewd intelligence, 
How they recommend to thee 
Action, and the joys of sense ! 
In the busy world to dwell, 
Fain they would allure thee hence ; 
Stagnate in this lonely cell. 
Sap of life, and powers of sense. 

Forbear to trifle longer with your grief, 

Which, Yulture-like, consumes you in this do::. 

The worst society is some relief, 

You'll feel yourself a man with fellow-men. 

Not that I'd thrust you 'mid the vulgar throng ; 

Nor do I to the upper ranks belong ; 

But if through life I may your steps attend, 

I will at once engage to be your friend. 

I am your comrade ; should it suit your need, 

Your servant I, your very slave indeed ! 


And how must I requite your service, pray? 


There's time enough to think of that ! 


Nay! Nay i 

The devil is an egotist I know ; 

And never for God's sake doth kindness show. 

Let the condition plainly be exprest ; 

Such a domestic is a dangerous guest. 



111 pledge inyscxf to be your servant liere^ 
Ne'er at your call to slumber or be still ; 
But when together yonder we appear, 
You shall submissively obey my will. 


But small concern I feel for yonder world, 
Hast thou this system into ruin hurl'd, 
Another may arise the void to fill. 
This earth the fountain whence my pleasures iio\Y5 
This sun doth daily shine upon my woe. 
And can I but from these divorce my lot. 
Then come what may, — to me it matters not. 
Henceforward to this theme I close mine ears. 
Whether hereafter we shall hate and love, 
Aui^ whether, also, in those distant spheres, 
There is a depth below or height above. 


In this mood you may venture it. But make 
The compact, and at once I'll undertake 
To charm you with mine arts. I'll give you moro 
Than mortal eye hath e'er beheld before. 


And what, poor devil, hast thou to bestow ? 

Was mortal spirit, in its high endeavour, 

E'er fathom'd by a being such as thou? 

Yet food thou hast which satisfieth never. 

Red gold indeed thou hast, that swiftly flies. 

Gliding like restless quicksilver away, 

A game, at which none ever win who play, 

A damsel, who, while on my breast she lies, 

To lure a neighboiu^ fondly doth essay ; 

Thine, too, ambition's bright and godlike dream, 

Baseless and transient as the meteor's gleam ; 

Show me the fruits that, ere they're pluck' d, decay. 

And trees whose verdure buddeth every day. 


Such a demand affrights me not ; with ease 
I can provide you treasures such as these. 
But in due course a season will come round, 
When on what's good we may regale in peace. 



If e'er in indolent repose I'm found, 
Then let my life upon the instant cease ! 
Oan'st thou thy flatt'ring spells around me cafrf;^ 
And cheat me into self-complacent pride, 
Or sweet enjoyment, — Be that hour my last I 
Be this our wager! 




'Tis ratified ! 
If ever to the passing hour 1 say 
" So beautiful thou art I thy flight delay !" 
Then round my soul thy fetters throw, 
Then to perdition let me go ! 
Then may the solemn death-bell sound. 
Then from thy service thou art free, 
The index-hand may cease its round. 
And time be never more for me ! 


We shall remember, pause, ere 'tis too late. 


You're authoriz'd to do so if you choose, 
My strength I do not rashly overrate. 
Since here to be a slave I'm doom'd by fate, 
It matters littie whether thine or whose. 


At your inaugural feast this very day, 

I will attend, my duties to commence. 

But one thing ! — Accidents may happen, hence 

A line or two in writing grant I pray. 


A writing, pedant, dost demand from me? 

Is man, and is man's word to thee unknown? 

Is't not enough that by my word alone 

I pledge my interest in eternity? 

Haves not the world in all its streams along, 

And must a promise my career impede ? 

Yet in our hearts the prejudice is strong. 

And who from the delusion would be freed ? 

How blest within whose bosom truth reigns pure, 

B 2 



No sacrifice will he repent when made ! 
A formal deed, with seal and signature, 
A spectre this from which all shrink afraidc 
The word resigns its essence in the pen, 
Leather and wax usurp the mast'ry then. — 
Spirit of evil! what dost thou require ? 
Brass, marble, parchment, paper ? Shall I usg 
Style, pen, or graver ? Name which you desiro. 
Tc me it matters not, you've but to choose ^ 


With passion why so hotly burn, 

And thus your eloquence inflame ? 

The merest scrap will serve our turn. 

And with a drop of blood you'll sign your naiua 


If this will satisfy you, well and good ! 
I'll gratify your whim, howe'er absurd ! 


A quite peculiar sort of juice is blood ! 


Be not afraid that I shall break my word. 
The present scope of all my energy, 
Is in exact accordance with my vow. 
With vain presumption I've aspir'd too high ; 
I'm on a level but with such as thou; 
I am rejected by the great First Cause, 
Nature herself doth veil from uie her laM^s ; 
Bent is the web of thought, my mind 
I)oth knowledge loathe of every kind. 
In depths of sensual pleasure drown' d, 
Let us our fiery passions still ! 
Emvrapp'd in magic's veil profound, 
Let wondrous charms our senses thrill! 
Plunge we in time's tempestuous flow. 
Stem we the rolling surge of chance ! 
There may alternate weal and woe, 
Success and failure, as they can,, 
Mingle and shift in changeful dance, 
Excitement is the sphere for man. 


Nor goal, nor measui^ is prescrib'd to you. 



±f you desire to taste of every thing, 
To snatch at pleasure while upon the vfing, 
May your career amuse and profit too. 
Only fall to and don't be over coy ! 


Hearken ! The end I aim at is not joy. 

I crave excitement, agonizing bliss, 

Enamour'd hatred, quickening vexation. 

Purg'd from the love of knowledge, my vocation. 

The scope of all my powers henceforth be this, 

To bare my breast to every pang, — to know 

In my heart's core all human weal and woe. 

To grasp in thought the lofty and the deep. 

Men's various fortunes on my breast to heap, 

To their' s dilate my individual mind. 

And share at length the shipwreck of mankind. 


Oh, credit me, who still as ages roll. 

Have chew'd this bitter fare from year to jet^. 

No mortal, from the cradle to the bier. 

Digests the ancient leaven. Know, this Whole 

Doth for the Deity alone subsist ! 

He in eternal brightness doth exist, 

Us unto darkness he hath brought, and here 

Where day and night alternate, is your sphere. 


But 'tis my will ! 


Well spoken, I admit ! 
There is but one thing puzzles me, my friend; 
Time's short, art long ; me thinks 't were only fifej 
That you to friendly counsel should attend. 
A poet choose as your ally. 
Let him thought's wide dominion sweep, 
Each good and noble quality. 
Upon your honour' d brow to heap ; 
The lion's magnanimity. 
The fleetness of the hind. 
The fiery blood of Italy, 
The NortJiern's firm enduring miud. 



Let liim for you the mystery solve, and show 
How to combine high aims with cunning low. 
And how, while young desires the heart inflame. 
To fall in love according to a plan. 
Myself would gladly meet with such a man. 
And him I would Sir Microcosm name. 


What then am I, if I may never hope 
The crown of our humanity to gain, 
Of all our energies the final scope ? 


Your own poor self you are, and must remain* 
Put on your head a wig with countless locks, 

]se to a cubit's height your learned socks, 
T o more than now you are you'll ne'er attain. 


I feel it, I have heap'd upon my brain 

The gather' d treasure of man's thought in vain. 

And when at length from studious toil I rest. 

No power, new-born, springs up within my bros^" ' 

A hair's breadth is not added to my height, 

I am no nearer to the infinite. 


These matters, sir, you view, indeed. 

Just as by other men they're view'd ; 

We must more cleverly proceed. 

Before life's joys our grasp elude. 

The devil ! thou hast hands and feet. 

And head and heart are also thine ; 

What I enjoy with relish sweet. 

Is it on that account less mine ? 

If for six horses I can pay. 

Do I not own their strength and speed ? 

A proper man I dash away. 

As their two dozen legs were mine indeed 

Up then, from idle pond'rirg free. 

And forth into the world with me ! 

I tell you what; — a speculating wretch. 

Is like a brute, on bare, uncultur'd ground, 

Driv'n by an evil spirit round and round. 

While all beyond rich pastures smiling stre:':tn. 



But llow eommence ? 


Why we with speed 
Must leave this place of torture ; you 
A precious life of it must lead, 
Tiring yourself and pupils too ! 
Leave it to neighbour Paunch ; — Tvithdrav/, 
Why plague yourself with thrashing straw ? 
The very best of what you know 
You dare not to the youngsters show. 
One in the passage waits to-day. 


I'm in no mood to see him now. 


Poor lad! Hcmust be tir d,* I trow; 
Hopeless he must not go away. 
Hand me your cap and gown, I pray; 
Now leave it to my wit; — the mask 
Will suit me famously, — 

{He changes nis aress.) 

I ask 

But quarter of an hour ; meanwhile equip, 
And make all ready for our pleasant trip i 

{Exit Faust.) 

MEPHISTOPHELES {l7l FaUST's lo7ig goiV7l). 

Reason and Knowledge only thus contemn, 

Despise the loftiest attributes of men, 

Still let the Prince of lies, without control. 

With shows, and mocking charms, delude thy soul^ 

I have thee unconditionally then — 

Fate hath endow' d him with an ardent mind. 

Which unrestrain'd still presses on for ever. 

And whose precipitate and mad endeavour 

O'erleaps itself, and leaves earth's joys behind. 

Him will I drag along through life's wild waste. 

Through scenes of vapid dulness, w^here at last 

Bewilder'd, he shall falter, and stick fast ; 

And, as in mock'ry of his greedy haste. 

Viands shall hang his craving lips beyond, — 

Vainly he'll seek refreshment, anguish-tost. 



And were he not the devil's by his bond* 
Yet must his soul infallibly be lost ! 

A Student eiitorp. 


But recently I've quitted home, 
Full of devotion am I come, 
Attracted hither by the fame 
Of one whom all with rev'rence name. 


Your courtesy much flatters me ! 
A man like other men you see ; 
Pray have you yet applied elsewhere ? 


I would entreat your friendly care ! 
I've youthful blood and courage high ; 
Of gold I bring a fair supply ; 
My mother scarce would let me go ; 
But wisdom here I longed to know. 


You've hit upon the very place. 


And yet my steps I'd fain retrace. 
These walls, this melancholy room, 
O'erpower me with a sense of gloom > 
The space is narrow, nothing green. 
No friendly tree is to be seen ; 
And in these halls, the powers of sense 
Forsake me, and intelligence. 


It all depends on habit. Thus at first 
The infant takes not kindly to the breas 
But soon delighted slakes its eager thirst, 
To the maternal bosom fondly prest. 
Thus at the breasts of wisdom day by day 
With keener relish you'll your thirst allay. 


Enraptur'd I upon her neck will fall ; 
How to attain it, Sir, be pleas' d to show. 


Ere further you proceed, just let me know. 
What faculty you choose, and what your c^l 



Profoundly learned I should wish to grow. 
What heaven contains I'd comprehend. 
O'er earth's wide realm my gaze extend, 
Nature and science I desire to know. 


You are upon the proper track I find; 

Take heed that nothing dissipates your miiid* 


My heart and soul are in the chase ; 
Though to be sure I fain would seize 
On pleasant summer holidays, 
A little liberty and careless ease. 


Waste not your time, so fast it flies ; 
Method will teach you time to win; 
Hence, my young friend, I would adviso. 
With college logic to begin. 
Then will your mind be so well braced, 
In Spanish boots so tightly lac'd. 
That on 'twill circumspectly creep, 
Thought's beaten track securely keep, 
Nor will it, ignis-fatuus like, 
Into the path of error strike. 
Then many a day they'll teach you how 
The mind's spontaneous acts, till now 
As eating and as drinking free, 
Eequire a process ; — one, two, three ! 
In truth the subtle web of thought 
Is like the weaver's fabric wrought, 
One treadle moves a thousand lines, 
Swift dart the shuttles to and fro. 
Unseen the threads unnumber'd flow, 
A thousand knots one stroke combines. 
Then forward steps your sage to shoW| 
And prove to you it must be so ; 
The first being so, and so the second. 
The third and fourth deduc'd we see; 
And if there were no first and second. 
Nor third nor fom-th would ever be. 



This, scholars cf all countries prize, 
Yet 'mong themselves no weavers rise. 
Who would describe and study aught alive-* 
Seeks first the living spirit thence to drive , 
Then are the lifeless fragments in his hand. 
There only fails, alas ! the spirit-band. 
This process, chemists name, in learned thesis 
Mocking themselves, NaturcB encheiresis, 


Your words I cannot fully comprehend. 


In a short time you will improve, my friend, 
If of scholastic forms you learn the use ; 
And how by method all things to reduce. 


I feel, so doth all this my brain confound, 
As if a mill-wheel there were turning round. 


And next to this, before aught else you learn.;, 

You must with zeal to metaphysics turn ! 

There see that you profoundly comprehend, 

What doth the limit of man's brain transcend; 

For that which is or is not in the head 

A soimding phrase will serve you in good stea:- 

But before all strive this half year 

From one fix'd order ne'er to swerve. 

Five lectures daily you must hear ; 

The hour still pimctually observe ! 

Yourself with studious zeal prepare, 

And every paragraph o'erlook, 

That you may then be quite aware 

He never deviates from the book: 

Yet write away without cessation, 

As at the Holy Ghost's dictation ! 


This, Sir, a second time you need not say ! 
Your prudent counsel I appreciate quite ; 
For, what we've written down in black and wb 
We can in peace and comfort bear away. 


But a profession I entreat you name. 


For jurisprudence I've no taste, I own. 


To me this branch of science is well kno\vii. 

And hence I cannot your repugnance blauie* 

Laws are a fatal heritage, — 

Like a disease, an heir-loom dread; 

Their curse they trail from age to age. 

And furtively abroad they spread. 

Reason doth nonsense, good doth evil gro'^Vy 

That thou'rt a grandson is thy woe ! 

But of the law on man impress' d 

By nature's hand, there's ne'er a thought. 


You deepen my dislike ; how blest 
The pupil who by you is taught! 
To try theology I'm half inclin'd. 


I would not lead you wilKngly astray. 

But as regards this science you will find, 

'Tis difficult to shun the erring way, 

It ofiers so much poison in disguise, 

Which scarce from med'cine you can recognize. 

Here too, 'tis best to listen but to one. 

And by the master's words to swear alone. 

To sum up all — To words hold fast! 

Then the safe gate securely pass'd. 

You'll reach the fane of certainty at 1? 


But then some meaning must the words convey. 


Eight ! But o'er-anxious thought's of no avail ; 

For there precisely where ideas fail, 

A word comes opportunely into play. 

Most admirable weapons words are found, 

On words a system we securely ground. 

In words we can conveniently believe, 

Nor can we of one jot a word bereave. 



Your pardon for my importunity! 

With but one more request I'll trouble you 

Ere I retire, I'll thank you to supply 

A pregnant utt' ranee touching med'eine toe , 

Three years! how brief the appointed tide! 

The field, heaven knows, is all too wide! 

If but a friendly hint be thrown, 

'Tis easier then to feel one's way. 


I'm weary of this dry pedantic tone, 
And must again the genuine devil play. 


Of med'cine you the spirit catch with ease ; 

The great and little world you study thro', 

Then in conclusion, just as heaven may please. 

You let things quietly their course pursue ; 

In vain you range through science' ample spao^ 

Each man learns only that which learn he can ; 

Who knows the passing moment to embrace, 

He is your proper man. 

In person you are tolerably made. 

Nor in assurance will you be deficient, 

Self-confidence acquire, be not afraid, 

The world will then esteem you a proficien 

Learn how to treat the sex, of that be sure ; 

Their thousand ahs and ohs 

The sapient doctor knows. 

He from a single point alone can cure. 

Assume a decent tone of courteous ease. 

You have them then to humour as you pleaso. 

First a diploma must belief infuse, 

That you in your profession take the lead ; 

You then at once those easy freedoms use. 

For which another many a year must plead; 

Learn how to feel with nice address 

The dainty wrist; — and how to press, 

With furtive glance, the slender waist, 

To feel how tightly it is lac'd. 


There's sense in that ! one sees the how and why. 




Grey is, young friend, ail theory ; 
And green of life the golden tree. 


I swear it seemeth. like a dream to me. 

May I some future time repeat my visit, 

To hear on what your rev'rence grounds your \do\vs ? 


Command my humble service when you choose 


Ere I retire, one boon I must solicit : 
Here is my album, do not, Sir, deny 
This token of your favour. 


{He writes and returns the book.") 

STUDENT {reads). 

Eritis sicut Deus, scientes bonum et malum. 

{He reverently closes the hook a Jid retires ) 


Let but this ancient proverb be your rule. 
My cousin follow still, the wily snake, 
And with your likeness to the gods, poor fool, 
Ere long be sure your poor sick heart will quake I 

FAUST (enters). 

Whither away ? 


'Tis your's our course to steer? . 
The world, both great and small, we'll view ; 
With what delight and profit too. 
You'll revel through your gay career ! 


But with my length of beard I also need 
The easy manners that insure success ; 
Th' attempt I'm certain never can succeed ; 
To mingle in the world I want address ; 
I still have an embarrass' d air, and then. 
I feel mvself so small with other men. 



Time, my good friend, will all that's needful give; 
Gain self-reliance, and you've learn'd to live. 


But how do you propose to start, I pray? 

Your horses, servants, carriage, where are they ? 


We've but to spread our mantles wide. 
They'll serve whereon through air to ride. 
No heavy baggage need you take. 
When we our bold excursion make. 
A little gas which I'll prepare 
Lifts us from earth ; aloft through air 
Light laden, we shall swiftly steer ; — 
I wish you joy of jour new life- career. 

Auerhach's Cellar in Leipzig^ 
(a drinking party.) 


No drinking ? Nought a laugh to raise f 
None of your gloomy looks, I pray ! 
You, who so bright were wont to blaze, 
Are dull as wetted straw to-day. 


'Tis all your fault ; no part you bear. 
No beastliness, no folly. 


{pours a glass of wine over his heady 

You have them both ! 


You double beast i 


Tis what you ask'd me for, at least ! 


Whoever quarrels, turn him out! 

With open throat di'ink, roar, and shout. 

Hollo! HoUo! Ho! 


Zounds, fellow, cease your deaf ning cheerc 
Bring cotton here ! He splits my ears . 


^Tis when the roof rings back the tone, 
The full power of the bass is known. 


Eight ! out with him who takes offence ! 
A tara lara la ! 


A tara lara la ■ 


Our throats are tim'd. Come let's commence. 

The holy Eoman empire now, 
Hovf holds it still together ? 


An ugly song ! Psha ! a political song ! 

A song offensive ! Thank God, every morn 

That you to rule the empire were not born i 

I always bless my stars that mine is not 

Either a kaiser's or a chancellor's lot. 

Yet 'mong ourselves one still should rule the rest 

That we elect a pope I now suggest. 

What qualifies a man for consecration 

Ye know, and what ensures his elevation. 

FROscH (^sin^s). 
Bear, lady nightingale above, 
Ten thousand greetings to my lovo 


No amorous trash ! No greetings shall there be I 


Greetings and kisses too ! Who'll hinder me ? 

Undo the bolt, in stilly night. 
Undo the bolt, thy love's awake I 
Shut to the bolt with morning light! 


Ay, sing away, her praises celebrate ! 

My turn for laughing will come round some day. 


!She jilted mc, you the same trick she'll play. 
To liave a goblin-loyer be her fate, 
To toy with her upon some lone cross-way! 
Or fresh from Block sberg, may an old he-goat 
Send her a greeting from his hairy throat ! 
A proper lad of genuine flesh and blood, 
Is for the saucy damsel far too good; 
I'll in her honour hear of no love-strains, 
Unless it be to smash her window-panes ! 

BRAKDEB. [striMng on the table). 
Silence ! Attend ! to me give ear ! 
That I know life you must admit; 
Some love-sick folk are sitting here ; 
Hence, ere we part, it is but fit, 
To sing them a good night their hearts to c}iaoi% 
Hark ! of the newest fashion is my song ! 
Strike boldly in the chorus, clear and strong ! 

i^He sings,) 

Once in a cellar lived a rat, 

He feasted there on butter. 

Until his paunch became as fat 

As that of Dr. Luther. 

The cook laid poison for the guest. 

Then was his heart with pangs oppress a. 

As if his frame love wasted. 

CHOKUS [shouting). 

As if his frame love wasted. 


He ran around, he ran abroad. 

Of every puddle drinking, 

The house with rage he scratch' d and gnaw^d^ 

In vain, — ^he fast was sinking ; 

Full many an anguish' d bound he gave, 

Nothing the hapless brute could save. 

As if his frame love wasted. 


As if his frame love wasted. 


By torture driven, in open day. 
The kitchen he invaded, 
Convoked upon the hearth he lay 


With anguish sorely jaded; 

The poisoner laugh' d, Ha ! ha ! quoth 

His life is ebbing fast, I see. 

As if his frame love wasted. 


As if his frame love wasted. 


How the dull boors exulting shout ! 
A fine exploit it is no doubt, 
Poison for the poor rats to strew ! 


They, as it seems, stand well with you ! 


Old bald-pate ! with the paunch profound ! 
The rat's mishap hath tam'd his nature ; 
For he his counterpart hath found 
Depicted in the swoll'n creatm-e. 

Faust and MEPHisTOPHEj^se, 


I now must introduce to you 
Before aught else, this jovial crew, 
To show how lightly life may glide away ; 
With them each day's a holiday. 
With little wit and much content, 
Each on his own small round intent. 
Like sportive kitten with its tail. 
While no sick-headache they bewail, 
And while their host will credit give, 
Joyous and free from care they live. 


They're off a journey, that is clear, — 

They look so strange ; they've scarce been here 

An hour. 


You're right ! Leipzig's the place for lue 
'Tis quite a little Paris ; people there 
Acquire a certain, easy, finish' d air. 


What take you now these travellers to bo ? 



Let me alone ! O'er a full glass you'll soe. 
As easily 1*11 worm their secret out, 
As draw an infant's tooth. I've not a doub^ 
That my two gentlemen are nobly born, 
They look dissatisfied, and full of scorn. 


They are but mountebanks, I'll lay abet* 


Most like. 


Mark me, I'll screw it from them yet ! 


These fellows would not scent the devil out, 
E'en though he had them by the very throat. 


Your humble servant, gentlemen ! 


Thanks, we return your fair salute. 

{Aside, glancing at MEri-iisTOPiiELEg;,) 
How ! goes the fellow on a halting foot ? 


Are we allow'd to sit among you ? Then, 
Though no good liquor is forthcoming here. 
Good company at least our hearts will cheer. 


You're a fastidious gentleman, 'tis cleai\ 


You're doubtless recently from Rippach ? Pray, 
Did you with Mr. Hans there chance to sup ? 


To-day we pass'd him, but we did not stop ! 
When last we spoke with him he'd much to say 
Touching his cousins, and to each he sent 
Full many a greeting and kind compliment. 

( With an i7iclination towards Frosch). 

ALTMAYER {aside to FaOSCH), 

You have it there ! 


Faith I he's a ki.owing ouo 1 



Have patience ! I will show him up auou ! 


Unless I err, as we drew near 
We heard some practised voices pealing. 
A song must admirably here 
Re-echo from this vaulted ceiling I 

That you're an amateur one plainly sees ! 


Oh no, though strong the love, I lack the skill. 


Give us a song ! 


As many as you will. 


But let it be a new one, if you please ! 


But just return d from beauteous Spain arc we, 
The pleasant land of wine and minstrelsy. 

Once on a time a monarch 
Possessed a splendid flea. 


Hark ! did you catch the words ? a fiea,- 
An odd sort of a guest he needs must be 


Once on a time a monarch 
Possessed a splendid flea, 
The which he fondly cherish' d, 
As his own son were he ! 
His tailor then he summon'd, 
The tailor to him goes : 
Now measure me the youngster 
For breeches and for hose ! 


Ijet him the tailor strictly charge, 
The nicest measurement to take, 
Aiid as he loves his head, to make 
The breeches smooth and not too large ! 




In satin and in velvet, 
Behold the younker dress'd ; 
Bedizen'd o'er with ribbons, 
A cross upon his breast. 
Prime minister they made him, 
He wore a star of state; 
And all his poor relations 
Were corn-tiers, rich and great. 

The gentlemen and ladies 
At court were sore distressed ; 
The queen and all her maidens 
Were bitten by the pest, 
And yet they dar"d not scratch tJieia, 
Or chase the fleas away. 
If we are bit, we catch them 
And crush without delay. 

CHORUS (shouting). 
If we are bit, &;c. 


Bravo ! That's the song for mo ! 


Such be the fate of every flea ! 


With clever finger catch and kill I 


Hurrah for wine and freedom still ! 


Wore but your wine a trifle better, friend, 
A glass to liberty I'd gladly drain. 


You'd better not repeat those words agam \ 


I am afraid the landlord to offend ; 

Else freely would I treat each worthy guest 

From our own cellar to the very best. 


Out with it then! Lay all the blame on me. 


Give a good glass, and loud our praise shall be; 
But hark'ye, to 'iie brim our glasses crown, 

FAUGT. 09 

For if a judgment is requir'd from me, 
An ample mouthful I must swallow down. 

ALT MAYER {aside). 

I guess, they're from the Ilhenish land. 


Fetch me a gimlet ! 


^\^lat therewith to bore? 
You cannot have the wine- casks at the door? 


A tool-chest of our host doth yonder stand. 

MEPiiisTOPHELES {taJces ilic glmUt> 
( To Frosch.) 
Now say! what liquor will you take? 


How mean you? have you every sort? 


Each may his ONvn selection make. 


You lick your lips already at the thought. 


If IVe my choice, the Ilhenish I propose; 
The fairest gifts the fatherland bestows. 


{boring a hole in the edge of the table opposite to wUer*i 
Frosch is sitting'). 
Now get some wax — and make some stoppers — quick! 


Why this is nothing but a juggler's trick. 


And you ? 


Champagne's the wine for me; 
flight brisk, and sparkling let it be ! 

(MEPHISTOPHELES hoves, one of the party has in the 
meantifne prepared the wax-stoppers and stopped 
the holes.) 


Your foreign things one always can't decline. 


What's good is often scatter'd far apart. 

A German hates the French with all his heart. 

Yet still he has a relish for their wine. 


[as Mepiiistopheles approaclies Jdm) 
I like not acid wine, I must allow. 
Give me a glass of genuine sweet! 



Shall, if you wish it, flow without delay. 


Come' look me in the face! no fooling now! 
You are but making fun of us, I trow. 


Ah! ah! that would indeed be making free 

With such distinguished guests. Come, no delay; 

What liquor can I serve you with, I pray ? 


Only be quick, it matters not to me. 
{After the holes are all bored and stopped) 

MEPHISTOPHELES (tvith strange gestures). 

Grapes the vine- stock bears ! 

Horns the buck-goat wears, 

Wine is sap, the vine is v>'ood, 

The table yieldeth wine as good. 

With a deeper glance and true 

The mysteries of nature view ! 

Have faith and here's a miracle ! 
Your stoppers draw and drink your fill ! 


{as they di^aw the stoppers and the ivine chosen Ly each 
rims into his glass). 
Oh beauteous spring, which flows so fair ! 


Spill not a single drop, beware! {They drinh repeatedly,) 
ALL {sing), 
Happy as cannibals are we, 
Or as five hundred swine. 

FAUST. 71 

Tliey're in their glory, mark their elevation: 


Let's hence, nor here our stay prolong. 


Attend, of brutishness ere long 
You'll see a glorious revelation. 


{drinlxs carelessly; the wine is spilt upon the ground^ and 
turns to flame). 
Help I fiiTB. help! Hell is burning here ! 


[addressing the flames}* 
Peace, friendly element ! Be still, I say ! 

[To the Compamj.) 
A drop of purgatory ! never fear ! 


^Vhat means the knave! For this you'll dearly pay; 
With whom you're dealing. Sir, you do not know. 

mo sen. 

Such tricks a second time he'd better show ! 


'Twere well we pack'd him quietly away. 


What, sir! with us yom- hocus-pocus play! 


Silence, old wine-cask ! 


How ! add insult, too I 

Vile broomstick ! 


Hold! or blows shall rain on you! 


[Draws a stopper oiU of the table; flre springs out 
against him), 

I bum ! I bm-n ! - 


'Tis sorcery, I vow ! 
Strike home ! The fellow is fair game, I trow ! 


{They draw their hrlves and attach Mephistophelks.) 

MEPHiSTOPHELES {wlth solemn gesture s). 

Visionary scenes appear ! 
Words delusive cheat the ear ! 
Be ye thei'C, and be ye here ! 

( They stand amazed and gaze on each other.) 


Where am I ? What a beauteous land ? 


Vineyards ! unless my sight deceives ? 


And clustering grapes too, close at hand ! 


And underneath the spreading leaves, 
What stems there be ! 
What grapes I see ! 

{He seizes Siebel hy the nose. Tlie others reciprocally 
do the same, and raise their hiives.) 

Delusion, from their eyes the bandage take ! 
Note how the devil loves a jest to break ! 

( He disappears with Faust ; the fellows draw hack from 
one another.) 


What was it ? 




Was that your nose r 
GRANDER {to Siebel). 
And look, my hand doth thine enclose ! 


I felt the shock through every limb ! 

A chair ! I'm fainting I All things swim I 


Say what has happen* d, what's it all about 


Where is the fellow ? Could I scent him out. 
His body from his soul I'd soon divide ! 




With my own eyes, upon a cask astride, 

Forth through the cellar-door I saw him ride 

Like lumps of lead my feet are growing. 

{Turning to the iahlc) 
I wonder, is the wine still flowing ? 


'Twas all a cheat, om* senses to deceive. 


Yet I made sure that I was drinking wine 


How was it with the grapes and with the vine ? 


Who miracles henceforth will disbelieve ? 

W^iTCHEs' Kitchen. 

A large caldron hangs over the fire on a loiu hearth ; 
various figures appear in the flames rising from it, 
A FEMALE MoxKEY sits heside the caldron to 
skim it, and watch that it does not boil over. Th*. 
MALE Monkey toith the young ones is seated 
near, icai^ming himself. The icalls and ceiling 
are adorned with the strangest articles of witch- 

Faust, MEniisTOPHELES. 


This senseless, juggling witchcraft I detest ; 
Dost promise me, forsooth, that in this nest 
Of loathsome madness, I shall be restor'd ? 
Must I seek counsel from an ancient dame ? 
And can she cancel, by these rites abhorr'd 
Full thirty winters, and renew my frame ? 
Woe's me, if thou nought better can'st suggest' 
Hope has already vanish* d from my breast ; 
Has neither nature nor a noble mind 
A balsam yet devis'd of any kind ? 


My friend, you now speak sensibly. In tru'h. 



There is one method of renewing youth ; 
But in another book the lesson's writ ; — 
It forms a curious cliapter I admit. 


I'd know it. 


Good ! A natural means tj tiy 
Without physician, gold, or sorcery : 
Away forthwith, and to the fields repair, 
Begin to delve, to cultivate the ground, 
Confine your senses to one narrow round. 
Support yourself upon the simplest fare. 
Live like a very brute the brutes among, 
Esteem it neither robbery nor wrong, 
The harvest, which you reap, yourself to dun^v 
This method, friend, believe me, will avail. 
At eighty to continue young and hale ! 


I am not used to it, nor can degrade 

So far my nature as to ply the spade. 

For this mean life, my spirit soars too high. 


Then to the witch, we must perforce apply. 


Will none but just this ancient beldame do ? 
Can'st not thyself the magic bev'rage brew? 


A pretty play our leisure to beguile I 

A thousand bridges I could build meanwhik ; 

Not science only and consummate art. 

Patience must in the process bear her part. 

A quiet spirit worketh whole years long ; 

Time only makes the subtle ferment strong; 

And all things that belong thereto, 

Are wondrous and exceeding rare ! 

The devil taught her, it is true ; 

But yet the draught the devil can't prepai.\:, 

{^Perceiving the beasts,) 
Look yonder, what a pretty race ! 
Both lass and lad ; in both what grace I 
{To the beasts.) 

FAUSr f$ 

It seems your dame is not at home ? 


Gone to carouse, 
Out of the house, 
Thro' the chimney and away I 


How long is it her wont to roam ? 


While we can warm our paws she'll stay. 


'Wliat think you of the charming creatures ? 

fat; ST. 

I loathe alike their form and features I 


Nay, a discourse so exquisite, 
Is that in which I most delight ! 

{To THE Monkeys.) 
Tell me, ye whelps, accursed crew ! 
What stir ye in the broth about ? 


Coarse beggar's gruel here we stew. 


Of customers you'll have a rout. 


{ajipj'oaching and fawning on Mephistopheles)* 

Q';ick ! quick ! throw the dice, 
Make me rich in a trice. 
Oh give me the prize ! 
Alas, for myself! 
Had I plenty of pelf, 
I then should be wise. 


How happy would the monkey be. 
Could he put in the lottery ! 

(/« the meantime the young Monkeys have been playing 
with a large globe, which they roU forwards J 


The world here behold ; 

Unceasingly roll'd. 

It riseth and falleth ever ; 

It ringetli like glass ! 

How brittle, alas ! 

*Tis hollow, and resteth never 

How bright the sphere, 

Still brighter here ! 

Alive am I ? 

Dear son, beware! 

Ne'er venture there ! 

Thou too must die ! 

It is of clay ; 

'Twill crumble away ; 

There fragments lie. 


Of what use is the sieve ? 

THE HE-MONKEY {taking it down). 
The sieve would show, 
If thou wert a thief or no ? 

(I{e runs to the She-Monkey, and maJces her took 
througli it.) 
Look through the sieve ! 
Dost Imow him the thief, 
And dar'st thou not call him so? 

MEPHISTOPHELES {approacMr.g the fire). 
And then this pot ? 


The half-witted sot! 
He knows not the pot ! 
He knows not the kettle ! 


Unmannerly beast ! 
Be civil at least ! 


fake the whisk and sit down in the settie ^ 

{lie maizes Mephistopheles sit doivu,) 


{Who all this time has been siandi7ig hefore a looking -glass ^ 

now approaching., and now retiring from it.) 
What do I see ? what form, whose charms transcend 
The loveliness of earth, is mirror' d here ! 
O Love, to waft me to her blissful sphere, 
Tte swiftest of thy dovrn:v winions lend ! 


^^ 1 remain not rooted to this place, 
If to approach more near I'm fondly liir'd, 
Her image fades, in veiling mist obscur'd. 
Model of beauty both in form and face ! 
Is't possible r Hath woman charms so rare? 
Is that recumbent form, supremely fair, 
The very essence of all heavenly grace ? 
Can aught so exquisite on earth be found ? 


The six days' labour of a god, my friend. 

Who doth himself cry bravo, at the end. 

By something clever doubtless should be crown'd. 

For this time gaze your fill, and when you please 

Just such a prize for you I can provide ; 

How blest to whom propitious fate decrees. 

To carry to his home the lovely bride ! 

(Faust continues to gaze into the mim-or. Mephistopheles 
stretching himself on the settle and playing with the whisht 
continues to speak.) 

Here I sit, like a monarch on his throne ; 

My sceptre this ; — the crown I want alone. 


( Who have hitherto been maliing all sorts of strange gestures^ 
bring Mephistopheles a crown^ with loud cries). 
Oh, e so good. 
With sweat and with blood 
The crown to lime ! 
( They handle the crown awkwardly and break it in two pieces^ 
with which they skip about.) 

'Twas fate's decree ! 
We speak and see ! 
We hear and rhyme. 

FAUST {before the mirror). 
Woe's me ! well-nigh distraught I feel ! 


{pointing to ike beasts), 

(md e'en my head begins to reel. 


If good luck attend, 
If fitly things blend 


Our jargon witli tliouglit 
And with reason is fraught ! 

TAUST {as above). 
Fire is kindl'd in my breast! 
Let us begone ! nor linger here I 


(in the same posit tjn)» 

It now at least must be confess'd, 
That poets sometimes are sincere. 

{The caldron which the She-Monkey has neglecicd^ 
begins to boil over; a great flame arises^ which 
streams up the chimney. The Witch comes do2im 
the chimney ivith horrible cries.) 


Ough! ough! ough! oughl 
Accursed brute ! accursed sow ! 
Thou dost neglect the pot, for shame ! 
Accursed brute to scorch the dame I 

{Perceiving Faust arid Mephistofkeles.) 

Whom have we here ? 

Who's sneaking here ? 

Whence are ye come? 

With what desire ? 

The plague of fire 

Your bones consume I 

(^She dips the shimming -ladle into the caldron mid 
throws flames at Faust, MephistophBles, and 
the Monkeys. The Monkeys ichine,) 

(iwii'ling the whisk which he holds in his hand, and 
striking among the glasses a?:d pots). 
Dash! Smash! 
Glasses crash! 
There lies the slime ! 
'Tis but a jest, 
I but keep time 
Thou hellish pest 
To thine own chime. 



( While the Wit(*h steps hack in rage and astonishmetiL) 
You skeleton! you scar^row! How! 
Know you your lord and master now ? 
What should prevent my dashing you 
To atoms, with your monkey-crew ! 
Have you for my red vest no more respect? 
Does my cock's feather no allegiance claim? 
Have I conceal'd my visage? recollect! 
My rank must I be forc'd myself to name ? 


Master, forgive this rude salute ! 

But I perceive no cloven foot. 

And your two ravens, where are they? 


This once I must admit your plea; — 

For truly I must own that we 

Have liv'd apart for many a day. 

The culture, too, that shapes the world, at last 

Hath e'en the devil in its sphere embrac'd; 

The northern phantom from the scene hath pass\l. 

Tail, talons, horns, are nov/here to be trac'd! 

As for the foot, with which I can't dispense, 

'Twould injure me in company, and hence, 

Like some young gallants through the world who steer 

False calves I now have worn for many a year. 

THE WITCH {dancing). 
I am beside myself with joy, 
To see the gallant Satan here ! 


Woman, no more that name employ ! 


But why ? what mischief hath it done ? 


To fable it too long hath appertain* d ; 

But people from the change have nothing won. 

Rid of the evil one, the evil has remain'd. 

Call me Lord Baron, so the matter's good ; 

Of other cavaliers the mien I wear. 

You make no question of my gentle blood ; 

Mark well, this is the scutcheon that I bear ! 

{He malces an iinecemhj ger.tureA- 



(laughing {mmoderatelt/)t 
J ust like yourself ! You're still, I see, 
The same mad wag you us'd to be ! 


My friend, learn this to understand, I pray ! 
To deal with witches this is still the way. 


N'ow tell me, gentlemen, what you desire? 


Of your known juice a goblet we require. 

But for the very oldest let me ask ! 

With years its virtue doubles, as you know. 


Most willingly ! And here I have a flask. 
From which I've sipp'd a drop myself ere now; 
What's more, it doth no longer stink. 
To you a glass I joyfully will give. 

If unprepar'd, however, this man drink. 
He hath not, as you know, an hour to live, 


He's my good friend, with whom 'twill prosper well; 
I grudge him not the choicest of your store. 
Now draw your circle, speak your spell, 
And straight a bumper for him pour ! 

(TAe Witch, with extraordinary gestures^ describes a 
circle^ and places strange things within it. The 
glasses nneanwhile begin to ring^ the caldron to 
sound, and to make music. Lastly, she brings a 
great book; places the Monkeys in the circle to 
serve her as a desk, and to hold the torches, Sha 
beckons Faust to approach.) 


Tell me, to what doth all this tend? 
Where will these frantic gestures end? 
This loathsome cheat, this senseless stuff 
I've kno^vn and hated long enough. 



Mere mummery, a laugh to raise! 
Pray don't be so fastidious ! She 
But as a leech, her hocus-pocus plays. 
That well with you her potion may agree. 

i^He compels Faust to enter the circle, 

{The Witch, tvith a strange emphasis, begins tj 
claim from the book,) 

Bet known to men! 

From one make ten, 

And pass two o'er, 

And lose the four. 

Even make three — 

So art thou rich. 

Thus saith the witch, 

To five affix 

The number six. 

Then you have straight 

Made seven and eight, 

And nine is one, 

And ten is none, 

This is the witch's one-time-one! 


Like feverish raving sounds the witch's spell. 


There's yet much more to come, I know it well, 
So the whole volume rings ; both time and paijis 
I've thrown away, in puzzling o'er its pages. 
For downright contradiction still remains 
Alike mysterious both to fools and sages. 
Ancient the art and modern too, my friend. 
'Tis still the fashion as it used to be. 
Error instead of truth abroad to send 
By means of three and one, and one and three. 
'Tis ever taught and babbl'd in the schools. 
Who'd take the trouble to dispute with fools ? 
When words men hear, they usually believe, 
That there must needs be something to conceive 
THE WITCH {continues). 

The lofty povfer 

Of wisdom's dower. 

From all the world cone ear dt G 



\Vlio thlnketli not, 
To him I wot. 
Unsought it is reveard. 


What nonsense doth the hag propound ? 
My brain it doth well-nigh confound. 
A hundred thousand fools or more, 
Her words in chorus seem to roar. 


Incomparable Sibyl cease, I pray ! 
Hand us your liquor without more delay. 
And hark ye, to the brim the goblet crown 
My friend he is, and need not be afraid; 
Besides, he is a man of many a grade, 
Who hath drunk deep already. 

(2%c Witch, with many cei'emonies, pours the liquor inij 
a cup; as Faust lifts it to his fnoiith, a light 
Jlame arises.) 


Gulp it down 
No hesitation ! It will prove 
A cordial, and your heart inspire ! 
What ! with the devil hand and glove, 
And yet shrink back afraid of fire 
{The Witch dissolves the circle, Faust steps out.) 


Now forth at once ! you must not rest. 


And much, sir, may the liquor profit you! 


And if to pleasure you I aught can do ; 
Pray on W^alpurgis mention your request. 


Here is a song, sung o'er sometimes, you'll see 
That 'twill a singular effect produce. 


Come, quick, and let yourself be led by me ; 
You must perspire, in order that the juice 
May penetrate your frame through every part 
\'our noble indolence you'll learn to prize, 
And soon with ecstasy you'll recognize 
Hovr Cupid stirs and gambols in -^-our hcail. 



Let mc but gaze one moment in the glass ! 
Too lovely was that female form ! 


Nay! nay. 
A model which all women shall surpass, 
In flesh and blood ere long you will survey. * 

As works the draught, you presently shall greet 
A Helen in each female form you meet. 

A Street 
Faust. (Margahiit paising 5y.) 


Without offence, fair lady, may I dare 
To offer you my arm and escort, pray? 


I am no lady and I am not fair, 
Without an escort I can find my way. 

{She disengages herself and exi^,} 


By heaven ! This girl is fair indeed ! 
No form like hsr's can I recall. 
Virtue she hath, and modest heed, 
Is piquant too, and sharp withal. 
Her cheek's soft light, her rosy lips, 
No length of time will e'er eclipse ! 
Her downward glance in passing by, 
Deep in my heart is stamped for aye; 
Her very anger charm'd me too, — 
My ravish' d heart to rapture grew ! 

Mephistopheles (efiiers). 


I This girl you must procure for mc. 
i mephistopheles. 


She who but now pass'd. 


What! She? 

G 2 

1/ u Sl\ 

Stralglit from her priest she coraeth hcn,% 

From every sin absolv'd and clear; 

I crept near the confessor's chair. 

All innocence her virgin soul, 

For next to nothing went she there ; 

O'er such as she I've no control ! 


She's just fourteen. 


You really talk 

Like any gay Lothario, 

Who'd pluck each floweret from its stalk. 

And deems nor honour, grace, or truth, 

Secure against his arts, forsooth. 

But this you'll find wont always do. 


Sir Moralizer, prithee, pause ; 
Nor plague me with your tiresome laws. 
To cut the matter short, my friend. 
She must this very night be mine, — 
And if to help me you decline, 
Midnight shall see our compact end. 


What may occur just bear in mind ! 
A fortnight's space, at least, I need, 
A fit occasion but to find, 


With but seven hours I could succeed ; 
Nor should I want the devil's wile, 
So young a creature to beguile. 


Like any Frenchman now you speak, 
But do not fret, I pray ; why seek 
To hurry to enjoyment straight ? 
The pleasure is not half so great. 
As when the interest to prolong 
You trifle with your love, until 
You mould the puppet to your v/Ul 
As pictur'd in Italian song. 


No such incentives do I Deed* 




But now, without offence or jest ; 
You cannot quickly, I protest. 
In winning this sweet child succeedr 
By storm we cannot take the fort, 
To stratagem we must resort. 


Conduct me to her place of rest i 
Some token of the angel bring ! 
A 'kerchief from her snowy breast, 
A garter bring me,- — any thing ! 


That I my anxious zeal may prove. 
Your pangs to sooth and aid your love, 
I will proceed without delay, 
And bear you to her room away. 


And shall I see her ?— call her mine ? 


No! at a friend's she'll be to-day; 
But in her absence, I opine, 
You in her atmosphere alone. 
The tedious hours may well employ 
In blissful dreams of future joy. 


Can we go now : 


'Tis yet toe soon. 


Some present for my love procure. [Ezit.^ 


Presents so soon ! 'tis well ! success is suro . 
I know full many a secret store 
Of treasure, buried long before, 

I must a little look them dor. {BlxiL) 


Evening. A neat little Room. 


{braiding and hinaing up her hair) 
I would give sometliing now to know, 
Who yonder gentleman could be ! 
He had a gallant air, I trow. 
And doubtless was of high degree ! 
That from his noble brow I told, 
Nor would he else have been so bold. {JSxit.) 


Come in ! tread softly ! be discreet ! 

FAUST {after a pause). 
Begone and leave me, I entreat ! 

MEPHiSTOPHELES {looUng rouud). 
Not every maiden is so neat. {Exit.) 

FAUST {gazing 7'oimd). 
Welcome sweet twilight-gloom which reigns, 
Through this dim place of hallow'd rest ! 
Fond yearning love, inspire my breast, 
Feeding on hope's sweet dew thy blissful pains. 
"WTiat stillness here environs me ! 
Content and order brood around. 
What fulness in this poverty ! 
In this small cell what bliss profound ! 

{He throws himself on the leather arm-chair heside the Jei.) 

Receive me ! thou, who hast in thine embrace, 
Welcom'd in joy and grief, the ages flown ! 
How oft the children of a by-gone race, 
Have cluster' d round this patriarchal throne ! 
Haply, she, too, as closed each circling year. 
For Christmas gift, with grateful joy possessed 
Hath with the full round cheek of childhood, here, 
Her grandsire's wither' d hand devoutly press' d. 
Maiden ! I feel thy spirit haunt the place. 
Breathing of order and abounding grace. 
As with a mother's voice it prompteth thee. 
Daily the cover o'er the board to spread, 
To strew the crisping sand beneath thy tread. 
Dear hand ! so godlike in its ministry ! 
The hut becomes a paradise through the(^ ^ 



Aud here ! (Ht 7'aises ih^j hed-cw iaiii.) 

How thrills my pulse with strange delight ! 

Here I could linger hours untold; 

Thou Nature \ didst in vision bright. 

The embryo angci here unfold. z 

Here lay the child, her bosom warm 

With life, while steep'd in slumber's dew. 

To perfect grace, her godlike form, 

With pure and hallow' d weavings grew! 

And thou ! ah here, what seekest thou ? 

How is thine inmost being troubl'd now ! 

What would'st thou here ? what makes thy heart so sore* ? 

Unhappy Faust ! I know thee now no more. 

Do I a magic atmosphere inhale ? 

Erewhile, my passion would not brook delay ! 

Now in a pure love-dream I melt away. 

Are we the sport of every passing gale ? 

Should she return and enter now, 
How would' st thou rue thy guilty flame ! 
Proud vaunter ! thou would' st hide thy brow. 
And at her feet sink do>vn with shame. 


Quick ! quick ! below I see her there ! 


Away ! I will return no more ! 


Here is a casket, with a store 
Of jewels, which I got elsewhere. 
Quick ! place it here, her press within, 
I swear to you 'twill turn her brain; 
Another I had thought to win, 
With the rich gems it doth contain, 
But child is child, and play is play. 


I know not — shall I ? 


Do you ask? 

Perchance you would retain the treasure f 
If such your wish, why then, I say, 
Henceforth absoh c me from my task, 
Nor longer waste yoiii* hours of leisure. 



I trust you're not by avarice led ! 

I rub my hands, I scratch my head,— 

{he places the casket in the press and closes the lock) 
But now away, without delay ! — 
The sweet young creature to your will to bend ; 
Yet here you are, as cold, my friend. 
As to the class-room you would wend, 
And metaphysics' form were there. 
And physic too, with hoary hair ! 
Away ! — {^Exeunt.) 

MARGARET (with a lamp). 
Here 'tis so close, so sultry now, 

{she opens the icindow.) 

Yet out of doors 'tis not so warm. 
I feel so strange, I know not how — 
I wish my mother would come home. 
Through me there runs a shuddering — 
I'm but a foolish timid thing! 

{While widressing herself she begin"? to sing,) 

There was a king in Thule, 

True even to the grave • 

To whom his dying mistress 

A golden beaker gave. 

Beyond aught else he priz'd it, 
And drain'd its purple draught. 
His tears came gushing freely 
As often as he quaff* d. 

When death he felt approaching, 
His cities o'er he told ; 
And grudg'd his heir no treasure 
Except his cup of gold. 

Girt round with knightly vassals 
At a royal feast sat he. 
In yon proud hall ancestral. 
In his castle o'er the sea. 

Up stood the jovial monarch, 
And quaff d his last life's glow, 
Then hurl'd the hallow'd goblet 
In the ocean depths below. 


He saw it splashing, drinking, 
And plunging in the sea ; 
His eyes meanwhile were sinking, 
And never more drank he. 
(^She opens the press to put away her clothes, avd 
perceives the casket.) 
How came this casket here ? I cannot guess I 
'Tis very strange ! I'm sure I lock'd the press. 
What can be in it ? perh'ps some pledge or other, 
Left here for money borrow' d from my mother. 
Here by a ribbon hangs a little key ; 
I have a mind to open it and see ! 
Heavens ! only look ! what have we here, 
Ne'er saw I such a splendid sight ! 
Jewels a noble dame might wear, 
For some high pageant richly diglit. 
I wonder how the chain would look on me. 
And whose the brilliant ornaments may be ? 

{She puts them on and steps before the (/lass.) 
Were but the ear-rings only mine ! 
Thus one has quite another air. 
What boots it to be young and fair ? 
It doubtless may be very fine ; 
But then, alas, none come to woo, 
And praise sounds half like pity too. 

Gold all doth liu-e, 

Gold doth secure 

All things. Alas, the poor! 


(Faust walking thoughtfully up and dotcn. To him 

By love despis'd ! By Hell's fierce fires I curse, 
Would I could make my imprecation worse ! 


What ails you, pray ? what chafes you now so sore : 
A face like that I never saw before ! 


I'd yield me to the devil instantly. 
Did it not happen that myself am he • 




There must be some disorder in your wat! 
To rave thus like a madman, is it fit? 


Just think I The gems for Margaret bani^'lil 
A burly priest hath made his own ! — 
A glimpse of them the mother caught. 
And 'gan with secret fear to groan. 
The woman's scent is keen enough ; 
Still in the prayer book she doth snuff ; 
Smells everything to ascertain 
Whether 'tis holy or profane. 
And scented in the jewels rare, 
That there was not much blessing there. 
My child, she cries, ill-gotten good 
Ensnares the soul, consumes the blood. 
With them we'll deck our Lady's shrine, 
She'll cheer om^ soul with bread divine ! 
At this poor Gretchen 'gan to pout, 
'Tis a gift-horse, at least, she thought 
And sure, he godless cannot be, 
Who placed them there so cleverly. 
A priest the mother then address' d, 
Who when he understood the jest, 
Survey' d the treasure Avith a smile. 
Quoth he: "This shows a pious mind, 
Who conquers, wins. The Church we find 
Hath a good stomach, she, erewhile. 
Hath lands and kingdoms swallow'd down, 
And never yet a surfeit known. 
Daughters, the Church alone, with zest, 
Can such ill-gotten wealth digest." 


It is a general custom, too, 
Practis'd alike by King and Jew. 


With that, clasp, chain, and ring, he swept 
As they were mushrooms ; and the casket. 
Without one word of thanks he kept, 
As if of nuts it were a basket. 
Reward in heaven he promis'd fair ;— 
And greatly edified they were. 



And Gretchen ? 


In unquiet iitooil 
Knows neither what she would nor should j 
The trinkets night and day thinks o'er, 
On him who brought them dwells stiil more* 


Her sorrow grieves me, 1 must say. 

Another set of jewels bring! 

The first, methinks, was no great thinp:. 


All's to my gentleman child's play ! 


Plan all things to achieve my end ; 
Engage the attention of her friend. 
To work ! A thorough devil be. 
And bring fresh jewels instantly ! 


Ay, sir ! Most gladly I'll obey. 

(Faust extC) 
Your doting love- sick fool, with ease. 
Merely his lady-love to please, 

Sun, moon, and stars would pufi* away. (Exit ) 

The Neighbour's House, 

MAHTHA {cilone), 
God pardon my dear husband, he 
Doth not in truth act well towards me ! 
Forth in the world abroad to roam. 
And leave me widow' d here at home. 
And yet his will I ne'er did thwart, 
God knows I lov'd him from my heart. 

{She loeeps.) 
Perchance he's dead I— oh wretclied sta*^^ \ — - 
Had I but a certificate ! 

Maugaret {cOTtit^), 

Dame Martha ! 



Gretchen ? 


Only tLiiikl 
My knees beneath me >vell-nigh sink ! ' 
Within my press I've found to-day, 
Another case of ebony. 
And splendid jewels too there are, 
More costly than the former, far. 


You must not name it to your mother ; 
It would to shrift, just like the other. 


Nay look at them ! now only see ! 

MARTHA {U7'€SS€S kei* Up) 

You happy creature ! 


Woe is nie i 
I can't in them at church appear, 
Nor in the street, nor any where. 


Come often over here to me. 

And put them on quite privately. 

Walk past the glass an hour or so. 

Thus we shall have our pleasure too. 

Then suitable occasions we must seize. 

As at a feast, to show them by degrees. 

A chain at first, then ear-drops, — and your mother 

Won't see them, or well coin some tale or other. 


But who, I wonder, could the caskets bring ? 

I fear there's something wrong about the thing ! (a hioeh) 

Good heavens ! can that my mother be ? 

MARTHA {peering through the hlind)^ 
No! 'Tis a stranger gentleman, I see. 
Come in. 

Mephistopheles {enters), 


I've ventur'd to intrude to-day. 
Ladies, excuse the liberty, I pray. 

{He steps back respecifulhj lefore Margabxt.) 


For Mrs. Martha Schwerdtlein, I inquire i 


rm she, pray what have you to say to me ? 

MEPHiSTOPHELES {aside to her) 
I know you now, — and therefore will retire ; 
} At present you've distinguished company. 
Pardon the freedom, Madam, with your leave, 
I will make free to call again at eve. 

MARTHA {ah'^i.) 
Why, child, of all strange things I ever knew t 
The stranger for a lady taketh you. 


I am in truth of humble blood ; 
The gentleman is far too good ; 
Nor gems nor trinkets are my own. 


Oh 'tis not the mere ornaments alone ; 
Her glance and mien far more betray. 
I am rejoic'd that I may stay. 


Your business. Sir ? I long to know— 


Would I could happier tidings show ! 

But let me not my errand rue ; 

Your husband's dead, and greeteth you. 


Is dead? True heart! Oh misery! 
My husband dead! Oh I shall die! 


Alas! good Martha! don't despair ! 


Now listen to the sad affair ! 


I for this cause should fear to love. 
The loss my certain death would prove. 


Joy still must sorrow, sorrow joy attend 


Proceed, and tell the story of his end ? 


At Padua, m St. Anthony's, 
In holy ground his body lies ; 
Quiet and cool his place of rest, 
With pious ceremonials blest. 


And had you nought besides to bring? 


Oh yes! one grave and solemn prayer; 

Let them for him three hundred masses sing ! 

But in my pockets, ma'am, I've nothing thcrtx 


AMiat! not a coin ! no token from the dead! 
Such as the meanest artisan will hoard, 
Safe in his pouch, as a remembrance stor'd, 
And not to part with, starves or begs his bread 


Madam, in truth, it grieves me much ; but he 
His money hath not squander' d lavishly. 
Besides, his failings he repented sore, 
Ay ! and his evil plight bewail'd still more. 


That men should be so luckless ! Every day 
I for his soul will many a requiem pray. 


Forthwith, to find a husband you deserve i 
A child so lovely and in youth's fair prime. 


Oh no ; to think of that there's ample time. 


A lover then, meanwhile, at least might serve. 
Of heaven's best gifts, there's none more dear« 
Than one so lovely to embrace. 


But that is not the custom here. 


Custom or not, such things take place. 


Proceed I 


I stood by his bedside. 



Twas rotten straw, something less foul than duug; 

But at the last a Christian man he died. 

And sorely hath remorse his conscience wrung. 

Wretch that I was," quoth he, with parting breath, * 
*' So to forsake my business and my wife ! 
A-h! the remembrance of it is my death. 
Could I but have her pardon in this life!" — 

MARTHA (iceeping). 
Dear soul! I've long forgiven him, indeed! 


" Though she, God knows, was more to blame than I." 


What, on the brink of death assert a lie ! 


If I am skiird the countenance to read. 
He doubtless fabled as he parted hence. 

To gape for pleasure, I'd no time," he said, 
*' First to get children, and then get them bread ; 
And bread, too, in the very widest sense; 
In peace I could not even eat my share." 


What all my truth and love forgotten quite ? 
My weary drudgery by day and night! 


Not so ! He thought of you with tender care. 
Quoth he: " Heaven knows how fervently I prayed. 
For wife and children when from Malta bound ; — 
The pra3^er propitious heaven with favour crown'd; 
We took a Turkish vessel which conveyed 
llich store of treasure for the Sultan's court; 
It's own reward our gallant action brought. 
The captur'd prize was shar'd among the crew, 
And of the treasure I receiv'd my due." 


How? Where? The treasure hath he buried, pray? 


Where the four winds have blown it, who can say ? 
In Naples as he stroll'd, a stranger there,— 
A comely maid took pity on my friend; 
And gave such tokens of her love and care. 
That he retain'd them to his blessed end. 




Scoundrel! to rob his children of their brea^il 

And all this misery, this bitter need, 

Could not his course of recklessness impede ! 


Well, he hath paid the forfeit, and is dead. 
Now were I in your place, my counsel hear; 
My widow's weeds Td wear for one chaste year, 
And for another lover seek meantime. 


Alas, I might ill vain search every clime. 
Nor find another husband like my first ! 
There could not be a fonder fool at home* 
Only he lik'd too well abroad to roam ; 
Lik'd women, too, and had for wine a thirst. 
Besides his passion for those dice accurs'd. 


Well! well! all doubtless had gone swimmingly, 

Had he but given you as wide a range. 

And upon such condition, I declare. 

Myself with you would gladly rings exchange ! 


The gentleman is surely pleas' d to jest! 


Now to be off in time, methinks, were best ! 
She'd make the very devil marry her 

{To Margaret.; 
How fares it with your heart 


How mean you. Sir? 


Tlie sweet young innocent ! 

Ladies, farewell! 




But ere you leave us, quickly tell ! 
I much should like to have it certified. 
Where, how, and when my buried husband died. 
To forms I've always been attach'd indeed. 
His death I fain would in the journals read. 




Ay, madam, when two witnesses appear 
The truth is everywhere made manifest ; 
A gallant friend I have, not far from here. 
Who will beforp. (he Judge nis death attest. 
I'll bring him hitherJ 


Oh, I pray you do ! 


And this young lady, we shall find her too ? 
A noble youth ! — ^has travell'd far and wide. 
And is most courteous to the sex beside. 


I in his presence needs must blush for shame. 


Not in the presence of a crowned king ! 


The garden, then, behind my house, we'll name^ 
There we'll await you both this evening. 

A Street 
Faust. Mephistopheles, 


How is it now ? How speeds it ? Is't in train ? 


Bravo ! I find you all on fire again? 
Gretchen will soon be your's, I promise you 
This very eve to meet her I've agreed 
At neighbour Martha s, who seems fram'd indeed 
Ihe gipsy's trade -'>xiorei?slv to pursue. 




But Srom us she something would request. 


A favour claims return as this world goes. 


We have an oath but duly to attest, 

That her dead husband's limbs, outstretched, repos^^ 

In holy groimd at Padua. 





Sage indeed ! 
So I suppose we straight must journey there ' 


Sancta simplicitas J For that no need ! 
Without much knowledge we have but to swear 


If you have nothing better to suggest, 
Against your plan I must at once protest. 


Oh, holy man ! methinks I have you there ! 

Is this the first time you false witness bear ? 

Have you not often definitions vain, 

Of God, the world, and all it doth contain, 

Man, and the working of his heart and brain, 

In pompous language, forcibly express'd, 

With front unblushing, and a dauntless breast r 

Yet, if into the depth of things you go. 

Touching these matters it must be confess' d 

As much as of Herr Schwerdtlein's death you 


Liar and sophist, still thou wert and art. 


Perchance my view is somewhat more profound 1 
Now you yourself to-morrow, I'll be bound. 
Will, in all honour, fool poor Margaret's heart, 
And plead your soul's deep love, in lover's fashiou 


And truly from my heart. 


All good and fair! 
Then deathless constancy you'll doubtless swear ; 
Speak of one mast'ring, all-absorbing passion.-— 
Will that too issue from your heart ? 



When passion sways me, and I seek to frame 
Fit utt'rance for my feeling, deep, intense. 
And for my frenzy finding no fit name, 
Sweep round the ample world with every sense, 
Grasp at the loftiest words to speak my fiaiiio. 


And call the fiery glow, wherewith I bum 
Quenchless, undying, — yea, eterne, eteme,— 
Is that of sophistry a devilish play ? 


Yet am I right ! 


Friend, spare my lungs, I pray; — 
Mark this, who his opinion will maintain, 
If he have but a tongue, his point will gain. 
But come, of gossip I am weary quite. 
Because I've no resource^ you're in the right. 


Makgaret on Faust's arm, Martha with MEPHiSTOPHELEei 

ivalking up and down, 


I feel it, you but spare my ignorance, 

To put me to the blush you stoop thus low. 

Travellers are ever wont from complaisance, 

To make the best of things where'er they go . 

My humble prattle, surely never can 

Have power to entertain so wise a man. 


One glance, one word of thine doth charm me more, 
Than the world's wisdom or the sage's lore. 

(He kisses her hand.) 


Nay ! trouble not yourself! how can you kiss 
A hand so very coarse and hard as this ! 
What work am I not still oblig'd to do ! 
And then my mother's so exacting too. 

{They pass on.\ 


rhus are you ever wont to travel, pray ? 


Duty and business urge us on our way ; 
Full many a place indeed we leave with pain, 
At; which we're not permitted to remain 1 

H 2, 



In youth's wild years, with lusty vigour ciown'd, 
'Tis not amiss thus through the world to sweep ; 
But ah, the evil days at length come round, 
And to the grave a bachelor to creep, 
No one as yet hath good or pleasant found 


The distant prospect fills me with dismay. 


Therefore, in time, dear sir, reflect, I pray. 

( They pass 


Still are the absent out of mind, 'tis true ! 
Politeness is familiar, sir, to you, 
But many friends you have, who doubtless are 
More sensible than I, and wiser far. 


My angel, often what doth pass for sense 
Is self-conceit and narrowness. 


How so? 


Simplicity and holy innocence, — 

When will ye learn your hallow' d worth to know? 

Ah, when will meekness and humility, 

Kind and all-bounteous nature's loftiest dower — 


Only one little moment think of me. 

To think of you I shall have many an hour. 


You're doubtless much alone ? 


Why yes, for though 
Our household's small, yet I must see to it. 
We keep no maid, and I must sew, and knit, 
And cook and sweep, and hurry to and fro; 
And then my mother is so accurate ! 
Not that for thrift there is such pressing need ' 
Than others we might make more show indeed? 
My father left behind a small estate, 
A house and garden just outside the town. 


Quiet enough my life has been of late. 
My only brother for a soldier's gone; 
My little sister's dead; the babe to rear 
Occasion' d me some care and fond annoy ; 
But I would go through all again with joy, 
The little darling was to me so dear. 


An angel, sweet, if it resembled you ! 


I reared it up, and soon my face it knew. 
Dearly the little creature lov'd me too. 
After my father's death it saw the day ; 
We gave my mother up for lost, she lay 
In such a wretched plight, and then at length 
So very slowly she regain' d her strength. 
Weak as she was, 'twas vain for her to try 
Herself to suckle the poor babe, so I 
Kear'd it on bread and water all alone. 
And thus the child became as 'twere my oivu. 
Within my arms it stretch' d itself and grew. 
And smiling, ne^^tl'd in my bosom too. 


Doubtless the purest happiness was your's. 


Oh yes — ^but also many weary hours. 

Beside my bed at night its cradle stood. 

If it but stirr'd, I was at once awake, 

One while I was oblig'd to give it food, 

Or with me into bed the darling take. 

Then, if it would not hush, I had to rise, 

And strive with fond caress to still its cries, 

Pacing the little chamber to and fro ; 

And then at dawn to washing I must go. 

See to the house affairs, and market too. 

And so^, from day to day, the whole year through. 

Ah, sir, thus living, it must be confess'd 

One's spirits are not always of the best; 

But toil gives food and sleep a double zest. {TJiey pass on.) 


Poor women ! we are badly off, I own 
A bachelor's conversion's hard, indeed ! 




Madam, with one like you it rests alone, 
To tutor me a better course to lead. 


But tell me ! no one have you ever met ? 
Has your heart ne'er attach' d itself as yet ? 


One's own fire-side, and a good wife, we're told 
By the old proverb, are worth pearls and gold. 


I mean has passion never fii*'d yom* breast ? 


I've everywhere been well receiv'd, I o^vn. 


Yet hath your heart no earnest pref 'rence known ^ 


With ladies one should ne'er presume to jest. 


Ah ! you mistake ! 


I'm sorry I'm so blind! 
But this I know — that you are very kind. 

( They pads un,} 


So, little angel, in the garden when 

I enter' d first, you knew me once again ? 


Did you not see it ? I cast down my eyes. 


And you forgive my boldness, and the guise 
Of freedom towards you, as you left the dome. 
The day I offer' d to escort you home ? 


I was confus'd, never until that day 

Could any one of me aught evil say. ' 

Alas, thought I, he doubtless in yom* mien, 

Something unmaidenly or bold hath seen? 

It seemed as if it ^;truck him suddenly, 

*' Here's just a girl with whom one may make froo,'* 

Yet I must own that then I scarcely knew 

What in your favour here began to plead; 



Yet I was angry with myself indeed. 
That I more angry could not feel with you. 


Sweet love ! 


Just wait! 

{She gathers a star-flower and plucks off the leaves om 
after another,) 


♦ A nosegay may that be ? 


No ! 'Tis a game. 




Go ! you'll laugh at me . 
{She plucks off the leaves and murmurs to herself.) 


What murmur you ? . 

MARGARET (Jidlf aloud). 

He loves me, — loves me not. 


Sweet angel, with thy face of heav'nly bliss! 

MARGARET {contitlUes). 

He loves me,— loves me not — 

{plucking off the last leaf with fond joy.) 
He loves me ! 


Yes! , 

And this flower-language, darling, let it be, 

E'en as a heav'nly oracle to thee! 

KnoAv'st thou the meaning of, " He loveth me?" 

{He seizes both her hands,) 


I tremble so! 


Nay ! do not tremble, love ! 
Oh, let this pressure, let this glance reveal 
"^eelings, all power of utt' ranee far above ; 
To give oneself up wholly and to feel 
A raptm'ous joy that must eternal prove! 



Eternal!— -Yes, it's end wdild be despair. 
No end! — It cannot end! 

(Margaret presses his hand; extricates her self, a7id 
7'U7is away. He stands a moment in thought j and 
then follows her.) 

MARTHA {approaching). 

Night's closing. 


Yes, we'll presently away. 


I would entreat you longer yet to stay, 

But 'tis a wicked place, just here about. 

'Tis as the folks had nought to do, 

And nothing else to think of too, 

But watch their neighbours, who goes in and out; 

And scandal's busy still, do what one may. 

And our young couple? 


They have Aomti up there, 

Gay butterflies! 


' He seems to take to her. 


And she to him. 'Tis of the world the way. 

A Summer 'House. 

(Margaret runs iti, hides behind the dooi\ holds the tip 
of her finger to her lip, and peeps through the crevice.) 


He comes ! 


Ah, little rogue, so thou 
Think'st to provoke me! I have caught thee now! 

t^He kisses her.) 


{embracing him, and returning the kiss). 
Dearest of men I love thee from my heart ! 

Mephistopheles (knocks). 
FAUST {stamping). 

Who's there.'' 



A friend ! 


A brute ! 


'Tis time to part. 
MARTHA {comes). 

Yes, sir, 'tis late. 


Mayn't I attend you, sweet? 


Oh no — ^my motlier would — adieu, adieu! 


And must I really then take leave of you ? 
Farewell ! 


Good-bye ! 


Ere long again to meet! 
{Exeunt Faust and Mephistophel: 


Good heavens ! how all things far and near 

Must fill his mind, — a man like this ! 

Abash' d before him I appear, 

And say to all things only, yes. 

Poor simple child, I cannot see, 

What 'tis that he can find in me. {Exit,) 

Forest and Cavern. 

FAUST {alone). 
Spirit sublime ! TfeoVi gav'st me, gav'st me all 
For which I prayed. Not vainly hast thou turned 
To me thy countenance in flaming fire. 
Thou gav'st me glorious nature for my realm. 
And also power to feel her and enjoy. 
Not merely with a cold and wond'ring glance. 
Thou dost permit me in her depths profound. 
As in the bosom of a friend to gaze. 

Before me thou dost lead her living tribes. 

And dost in silent grove, in air and stream 

Teach me to know my kindred. And when roars 

The howling storm-blast through the groaning wood^ 

Wrenching the giant pine, which in it's fall 

Sweeps, crushing do^vn, its neighbour trunks and boughs:, 

"While wdth the hollow noise the hill resounds. 

Then thou dost lead me to some sheltered cave, 

Dost there reveal me to myself, and show 

Of my own bosom the mysterious depths. 

And when with soothing beam, the moon's pale orb 

Full in my view climbs up the pathless sky, 

From crag and vap'rous grove, the silv'ry forms 

Of by-gone ages hover, and assuage 

The too severe delight of earnest thought. 

Oh, that nought perfect is assign' d to man, 

I feel, alas ! With this exalted joy. 

Which lifts me near and nearer to the gods, 

Ihou gav'st me this companion, unto whom 

I needs must cling, though cold and insolent, 

He stiU degrades me to myself, and turns 

Thy glorious gifts to nothing, with a breath. 

He in my bosom with malicious zeal 

For that fair image fans a raging fire ; 

From craving to enjoyment thus I reel, 

And in enjoyment languish for desire. 

(Mephistopheles enters.) 


Of tliis lone life have you not had your fill ? 
How for SO long can it have charms for you ^ 
'Tis well enough to try it if you will; 
But then away again to something new ! 


Would you could better occupy your leisure, 
Than in disturbing thus my hours of joy. 


Well ! Well ! I'll leave you to yourself with pleasure^ 
A serious tone you hardly dare em])loy ; 
jl'o part from one so crazy, harsh, and cross, 
I should not find me thinks a grievous loss. 
The live-long day, for you I toil and fret. 



Ne'er from your worship'sfaee a hint I get, 
What pleases you, or what to let alone. 


Ay truly ! that is just the proper tone ! 

Tires me, forsooth, and would with thanks be paid ! 


Poor child of clay, without my aid, 

How would thy weary days have flown? 

Thee of thy foolish whims I've cur'd. 

Thy vain imaginations banish' d. 

And but for me, be well assur'd, 

Thou from this sphere must soon have vanished. 

In rocky cleft and cavern drear 

Why like an owl sit moping here ? 

And wherefore suck, like any toad, 

From dripping rocks and moss thy food? 

A pleasant pastime ! Verily, 

The doctor cleaveth still to thee. 


Couldst thou divine what bliss without alloy 
From this wild wand'ring in the desert springs, — 
Oouldst thou but guess the new life-power it brings^ 
Thou still wert fiend enough to grudge my joy.^ 


What super- earthly ecstasy ! at night, 
To lie in darkness on the dewy height, 
Embracing heaven and earth in rapture high, 
The soul dilating to a deity. 

With prescient yearnings pierce the core of earth, 
Feel in your labouring breast the six-days' birth. 
Enjoy, in proud delight what no one knows. 
While your love-rapture o'er creation flows, — 
The earthly lost in beatific vision, 
And then the lofty intuition— 

(with a gestviji6.\ 

I need not tell you how — to close. 


/le on you ! 


This displeases you ? " For shame !" 
Vou are forsooth entitl'd to exclaim 


We to chaste ears it seems must not impart, 

Thoughts that may dwell unquestion'd in the lieart. 

Well, to be brief, as fit occasions rise, 

I grudge you not the joy of specious lies. 

But soon 'tis past, the self- deluding vein ; 

Back to your former course you're driven again. 

And, should it longer hold, your anguish' d breast 

By frenzied horror soon would be possess' d. 

Enough of this ! Your true love dwells apart, 

And every thing to her seems flat and tame. 

Alone your cherish' d image fills her heart, 

She loves you with an all-devouring flame. 

First came your passion with o'erpowering rush, 

Like mountain torrent, fed by melted snow. 

Full in her heart you pour'd the sudden gush, 

And now again your stream has ceas'd to flow. 

Instead of sitting thron'd midst forests wild, 

Methinks it would become so great a lord. 

Fondly to comfort the enamoured child, 

And the young monkey for her love reward. 

To her the hours seem miserably long ; 

She from the wandow sees the clouds float by 

As o'er the ancient city-walls they fly. 

" Were I a bird," so runs her song. 

Half through the night and all the day. 

One while, indeed, she seemeth gay, 

And then with grief her heart is sore; 

Fairly outwept seem now her tears, 

Anon she tranquil is, or so appears, 

And love-sick evermore. 


Snake ! Serpent vile I 

3tE^KlST0PHELES ((Wti^)« 

Good ! If I catch thee with my guile ! 


Vile reprobate ! go get thee hence ; 
Forbear the lovely girl to name ! 
Nor in my half-distracted sense. 
Kindle anew the smouldering flatus i 



How now ! She thinks you've taken flight; 
It seems, she's partly in the right. 


I'm near her still — and should I distant rove, 
I'd ne'er forget her, ne'er resign her love; 
And all things touch'd by those sweet lips of hera^ 
Even the very host, my envy stirs. 


'Tis well ! I oft have envied you indeed, 
The twin-pair, that among the roses feed. 


Pander, avaunt I 


My friend, the while 
You rail, excuse me if I smile ; 
The power which fashion' d youth and maid, 
Well understood the noble trade, 
Of making also time and place. 
But hence ! — In truth a doleful case ! 
Your mistress' chamber doth invite. 
Not the cold grave's o'ershadowing night. 


What in her arms the joys of heaven to me ? 

Oh let me kindle on her gentle breast ! 

Do I not ever feel her misery ? 

Wretch that I am, whose spirit knows no rest, 

Inhuman monster, homeless and unblest. 

Who, like the greedy surge, from rock to rock, 

Sweeps down the dread abyss with desp'rate shock 

While she, within her lowly cot, which grac'd 

The Alpine slope, beside the waters wild. 

Her homely cares in that small world embrac'd. 

Secluded lived, a simple artless child. 

Was't not enough, in thy delirious whirl 

To blast the steadfast rocks,— her quiet cell. 

Her too, her peace, to ruin must I hurl ! 

Dost claim this holocaust, remorseless Hell! 

Fiend, help me to cut short the hom^s of dread! 

Let what must happen, happen speedily \ 



Her direful doom fall crushing on my headm 
And into ruin let her plunge with me. 


Wliy how again it seethes and glows ! 
Away, thou fool ! Her torment ease ! 
WTien such a head no issue sees, 
It pictures straight the final close. 
Long life to him who boldly dares ! 
A devil's pluck you're wont to show ; 
As for a devil who despairs, 
There's nought so mawkish here below 

Margaret's Roo})u 
MAEGAEET (cilone at her spinning whee[)^ 

My heart's oppress'd, 

My peace is o'er ; 
I know no rest, 

No, nevermore. 

The world's a grave 

Where he is not; 
And grief is now 

My bitter lot. 

My wilder' d brain 

Is overwrought ; 
My feeble senses 

Are distraught. 

My heart's oppressed. 

My peace is o'er; 
I know no rest. 

No, nevermore. 

.?or him I watch 
The live-long day, 
. For him alone 

Abroad I stray. 

His lofty step, 

His bearing high. 
The smile of his lip. 

The power of his oyo 

His witching words, 
Their tones of bliss, 

K:s hand's fond pressure, 
And then, his kiss! 

My heart's oppress'd 
My peace is o'er, 

I know no rest, 
No, nevermore. 

My bosom aches 
To feel him near. 

Ah, could I clasp 
And fold him here ! 

In love's fond blisses 
Entranc'd I'd lie. 

And die on his kisses, 
In ecstasy ! 

Martha's Garden. 
Margaret and Faus'::. 


Promise me, Henry ! 


What I can ! 


How is it with religion in your mind? 
You are 'tis true a good, kind-hearted man . 
But I'm afraid not piously inclin'd. 


Forbear ! I love you darling, you alone ! 
For those I love, my life I would lay down, 
And none would of their faith or church berei^T 


That's not enough, we must ourselves believe. 


Must we ? 


Ah, could I but your soul inspire/ 
You honour not the sacraments, alas J 



I honour them. 


But yet without desire 
'Tis long since you have been to shrift or mass 
Do you believe in God? 


My love, forbear ! 
Who dares acknowledge, I in God believe 
Ask priest or sage, the answer you receive. 
Seems but a mockery of the questioner. 


Then you do not believe ? 


Sweet one ! my meaning do not misconcoive 1 

Him who dare name 

And yet proclaim, 

Yes, I believe ? 

Who that can feel. 

His heart can steel. 

To say: I disbelieve? 

The All-embracer, 


Doth He not embrace, sustain 
Thee, me, himself? 

Lifts not the Heaven its dome above ? 

Doth not the firm- set earth beneath us lie? 

And beaming tenderly with looks of love. 

Climb not the everlasting stars on high ? 

Are we not gazing in each other's eyes ? 

Nature's impenetrable agencies, 

Are they not thronging on thy heart and brain, 

Viewless, or visible to mortal ken. 

Around thee weaving their mysterious reign ? 

Fill thence thy heart, how large soe'er it be. 

And in the feeling when thou'rt wholly blest, 

Then call it what thou wilt, — Bliss ! Heart ! Love ! Gfc^lf 

I have no name for it — 'tis feeling all. 

Name is but sound and smoke 

Shioudinp^ the glow of heaveii. 



All this is doubtless beautiful and true ; 
The priest doth also much the same declare. 
Only in somewhat diff'rent language loo. 


Beneath Heaven's genial sunshine, everywhere* 
This is the utt* ranee of the human heart : 
Each in his language doth the like impart; 
Then why not I in mine ? 


What thus I hear 
Sounds plausible, yet I'm not reconciled ; 
There's something wrong about it ; much 1 icar 
That thou art not a Christian. 


My sweet child ! 


Alas ! it long hath sorely troubl'd me, 
To see thee in such odious company. 


How so ? 


The man who comes with thee, I hat«>, 
Yea, in my spirit's inmost depths abhor; 
As his loath' d visage, in my life before, 
N^ought to my heart e'er gave a pang so great. 


Fear not, sweet love ! 


His presence chills my blj6a 
Towards all beside I have a kindly mood ; 
Yet, though I yearn to gaze on thee, I feel 
At sight of him strange horror o'er me steal ; 
That he's a villam my conviction's strong. 
May Heaven forgive me if I do him wrong ! 


Yet such strange fellows in the world musi hn\ 


I would not live with such an one as he 
If for a moment he but enter here. 
He looks around him with a mocking sneer, 
And malice ill- conceal' d. 



That he can feel no sympathy is clear. 

Upon his brow 'tis legibly reveal' d, 

That to his heart no living soul is dear. 

So blest I feel, abandon'd in thine arms. 

So warm and happy, — free from all alarms, 

And still my heart doth close when he comes near. 


Foreboding angel! prithee check thy fear ! 


The feeling so o'erpowers my mind, that when, 
Or wheresoe'r, I chance his step to hear, 
Methinks almost I cease to love thee then. 
Besides, when he is near I ne'er could pray, 
And this it is that eats my heart away ; 
Thou also, Henry, surely feel'st it so. 


This is antipathy ! 


I now must go. 


And may I never then in quiet rest, 

For one brief hour, upon thy gentle breast. 


Ah if I slept alone ! The door, to-night 
I'd leave unbarr'd; but mother's sleep is light; 
And if she should by any chance awake, 
Upon the floor I should at once fall dead. 


Sweet angel! there's no cause for dread. 
Here is a little phial, — if she take 
But three drops mingrd in her drink, 'twill steep 
Her nature in a deep and soothing sleep. 


What is there I'd not do for thy dear sake : 
To her 'twill surely do no injury? 


Else, my own love, should I thus counsel thee 


Gazing on thee, belov'd, I cannot tell, 
Wha^ doth my spirit to thy will compel; 



So much I have already done for thee, 

That more to do there scarce remains for me. 


Mephistopheles {entm-s), 


The monkey ! Has she left you then ^ 


Have you been spying here again? 


Of all that pass'd I'm well appriz'd, 
I heard the doctor catechis'd, 
And trust he'll profit by the rede. 
The girls show always much concern, 
Touching their lover's faith, to learn 
Whether it tallies with the creed. 
If men are pliant there, think they, 
Us too, they'll follow and obey. 


Thou monster ! thou canst not perceive 
How a true loving soul, like this. 
Full of the faith she doth believe 
To be the pledge of endless bliss, 
Must mourn, her soul with anguish tost. 
Thinking the man she loves for ever lost. 


Most sensual supersensualist ! a flirt, 
A gipsy, leads thee by the nose ! 


Abortion vile of fire and dirt ! 


In physiognomy strange skill she shows ; 
She in my presence feels she knows not hsvk 
My mask it seems some hidden sense reveal 
That I'm a genius she must needs allow. 
That I'm the very devil perhaps she leei^.. 
So then to-night ? — 


What's that to you? 


I've mv amusement in it too r 

£ 2 


At the Well 

Margauet exwcsT Bessy, with pitchers 


And liave you then of Barbara nothing hoard C 


I rarely go from home, — ^no, not a word. 


'Tis true : Sybilla told me so to-day ! 
She's play'd the fool at last, I promise you; 
Tliat comes of pride. 


How so.^ 


Why people say 
That when she eats and drinks she feedeth two. 


She's rightly served, in sooth. 
How long she hung upon the youth! 
What promenades, what jaunts there wer(\ 
To dancing booth and village fair, 
The first she everywhere must shine, 
He treating her to cakes and wine. 
Of her good looks she was so vain, 
And e'en his presents would retain. 
Sweet words and kisses came anon. 
And then the virgin flower was gone ! 


Poor thing! 


And do you pity her ? 
Why of a night, when at our wheels we saLj 
Abroad our mothers ne'er would let us stir 
Then with her lover she forsooth must chat, 



Or near the bench, or in the dusky walk, 
Thinking the hours too brief for their sweet talk ; 
Beshrew me ! her proud head she'll have to bow. 
And in white sheet do penance now ! 


But he will surely marry her ? 


Not he : 

He won't be such a fool ! a gallant lad 
Like him, can roam o'er land and sea, 
Besides, he's off. 


That is not fair ! 


If she should get him, 'twere almost as bad; 
Her myrtle wreath the boys would tear ; 
And then we girls would plague her too, 
Chopp'd straw before her door we'd strew ! 


MARGARET {walking towards honm). 
How stoutly once I could inveigh, 
If a poor maiden went astray I 
Not words enough my tongue could find, 
'Gainst others' sin to speak my mind ' 
How black soe'er their fault before, 
I strove to blacken it still more. 
And did myself securely bless. 
Now are the sin, the scandal, mine ! 
Yet ah! — what urg'd me to transgress, 
Heaven knows, was good ! ah , so divine ! 


[In the niche of the wall a devotional Image of the 
Mater dohi'osa, with flower-pots before it) 
MARGARET {'puttiug fvesh flowers in the pots) . 
Ah, rich in sorrow, thou. 
Stoop thy maternal brow. 
And mark with pitying eye my misery' 



The sword in thy pierc'd heart, 

Thou dost with bitter smart, 

Gaze upwards on thy Son's death agony. 

To the dear God on high, 

Ascends thy piteous sigh. 

Pleading for his and thy mute misery. 

Ah, who can know 
The torturing woe 

That harrows me, and racks me to the bom 
How my poor heart, without relief. 
Trembles and throbs, its yearning grief 
Thou knowest, thou alone ! 

Ah, wheresoever I go. 

With woe, with woe, with woe, 

My anguish' d breast is aching ! 

Wretched, alone I keep, 

I weep, I weep, I weep, 

Alas ! my heart is breaking ! 

The flower-pots at my window 
Were wet with tears of mine. 
The while I pluck' d these blossoms 
At dawn to deck thy shrine ! 

When early in my chamber 
Shone bright the rising morn, 
I sat there on my pallet. 
My heart with anguish torn. 

Help ! death and shame are near ! 

Mother of sorrows, now 

Stoop thy maternal brow. 

And to thy suppliant turn a gracious ea" 

Night Street before Margarets dour. 

VALENTINE {soldier, Margaret's hrother), 
When seated 'mong the jovial crowd 
Where merry comrades boasting loud, 
Each nam'd vrith pride his favourite lass, 
And in her honour dra-'^'d his plass; 


Upon my elbows I would lean, 
With easy quiet view the scene. 
Nor give my tongue the rein, until 
Each swagg'ring blade had talk'd his fill. 
Then with a smile my beard I'd stroke. 
The while, with brimming glass, I spoke ; 
" Each to his taste : — ^but to my mind, 
Where in the country will you find, 
A maiden, be she ne'er so fair, 
Who with my Gretchen can compare ?' 
Cling! Clang! so rang the jovial sound ! 
Shouts of assent went circling round; 
Pride of her sex is she ! — cried some ; 
Then were the noisy boasters dumb. 

And now ! — I could uproot my hair, 
Or dash my brains out in despair! 
Me every scurvy knave may twit, 
With stinging jcvSt and taunting sneer! 
Like skulking debtor I must sit, 
And sweat each casual word to hear! 
And though I smash" d them one and all, - 
Yet them I could not liars call. 

Who comes this way ? who's sneaking here? 
If I mistake not, two draw near. 
If he be one, have at him ; — well I wot 
Alive he shall not leave this spot! 

Faust, Mephistopheles. 


How from yon sacristy, athwart the night, 
Its beams the ever-burning taper throws, 
While ever waning, fades the glimm'ring light. 
As gath'ring darkness doth around it close! 
So night- like gloom doth in my bosom reign. 


I'm like a tom-cat in a thievish vein. 
That round the walls doth slyly creep ; 
And up fire-ladders tall, and steep. 
Virtuous withal I feel, with, I confess, 
I A touch of thievish joy and wantonness. 



Thus through my limbs ah-eady there dotli bound 
The glorious advent of Walpurgis nignt ; 
After to-morrow it again comes round, 
What one doth wake for then one knows aright. 


Meanwhile, the flame which I see glimm'ring there. 
Is it the treasure rising in the air ? 


Ere long, I make no doubt, but you 
To raise the chest will feel inclin'd ; 
Ere while I peep'd within it too. 
With lion-dollars 'tis well lin'd. 


And not a trinket ? not a ring ? 
Wherewith my lovely girl to deck ? 


I saw among them some such thing, 
A string of pearls to grace her neck. 


'Tis well ! I'm always loath to go, 
Without some gift my love to show. 


Some pleasures gratis to enjoy, 

Should surely cause you no annoy. 

While bright with stars the heavens appear^ 

111 sing a masterpiece of art. 

A moral song shall charm her ear. 

More surely to beguile her heart. 

(^Sings to the guitar,) 

Fair Catherine say. 
Why lingering stay 
At dawn of day 
Before your lover's door r 
You enter there, 
A maid, beware, 
JLest forth you fare, 
A maiden never mor<*. 

Maiden take heed ! 
""^eck well my redo * 


Is't done, the deed? 

Good night, you poor, poor thing! 

The spoiler's lies, 

His arts despise. 

Nor yield your prize, 

Without the marriage ring. 

VALENTINE {steps forward). 
Whom are you luring here ? I'll give it you ! 
Aecursed rat-catchers, your strains I'll end ! 
First, to the devil the guitar I'll send ! 
Then to the devil with the singer too ! 


The poor guitar! 'Tis done for now. 


Your skull shall follow next, I trow ! 


Doctor, Stand fast! your strength collect! 
Be prompt, and do as I direct. 
Out with your whisk ! keep close, I pray, 
ril parry ! do you thrust away ! 


Then parry that! 


Why not? 


That too! 


With ease! 


The devil fights for you ! 
Why how is this ? my hand's already lam'd! 


Thrust home ! 

VALENTINE (falls\ 



There ! Now the bully's tam'd. 
But quick, away! We must at once take win.o'. 
A cry of murder strikes upon the ear. 
With the police I know my course to steer. 
But with the blood-ban 'tis another thing. 


MARTHA {at the window). 
Without! without! 

MARGARET {at the window)» 
Quick, bring a light ! 
MARTHA {as above), 
I'hey rail and scuffle, scream and fight ! 


One lieth here already dead ! 

MARTHA {coming out). 
Where are the murderers ? are they fled ? 

MARGARET {coming out). 

Who lieth here? 


Thy mother's son. 


Almighty Father ! I'm undone ! 


I'm dying ! 'Tis a soon- told tale ! 

And sooner done the deed ! 

Why, women, do ye weep and wail? 

To my last words give heed. {All gather nnmd him.) 

Gretchen, thou'rt still of tender age, 

And, well I wot, not over sage, 

Thou dost thy matters ill. 

Let this in confidence be said : 

She who the path of shame doth tread, 

Should tread it with good will. 


My God ! what can this mean ? 



Nor dare God's holy name profane. 
"W^hat's done, alas, is done and past! 
Matters will take their course at last I 
By stealth thou dost begin with one, 
And more will follow him anon ; 
When to a dozen swells the train, 
A common outcast, thou'lt remain. 

'When first the monster shame is bom, 
Clandestinely she's brought to light, 



And the mysterious veil of night 
Around her head is drawn. 
The loathsome birth men fain would slay ! 
But soon, full grown, she waxes bold. 
And though not fairer to behold, 
With brazen front insults the day. 
The more abhorr'd her visage grows, 
The more her hideousness she shows ! 

The time already I discern. 
When thee all honest men will spurn , 
And shun thy hated form to meet, 
As when a corpse infects the street. 
Thy heart will sink in blank despair. 
When they shall look thee in the face! 
A golden chain no more thou' It wear! 
Nor near the altar take thy place ! 
In fair lace coRar simply dight 
Thou'lt dance no more with spirits light! 
In darksome corners thou wilt bide, 
Where beggars vile and cripples hide ; 
And e'en though God thy crime forgive 
On earth, a thing accurs'd, thou'lt live. 


Your parting soul to God comm end ; 
Nor your last breath in slander spend. 


Could I but reach thy wither' d frame, 
Thou wretched beldame, void of shame! 
Full measure I might hope to win 
Of pardon then for every sin. 


Brother : what agonizing pain ! 


I tell thee! from vain tears abstain! 
*Twas thy dishonour pierc'd my heart ; 
Thy fall the fatal death-stab gave. 
Through the death-sleep I now depart 
To God, a soldier true and brave. fdm.) 




Service^ Organ^ and Anthem, 
Margaret {amongst a nutnber of people] 
Evil-Spirit {behind Margaret), 


How diff 'rent, Gretchen, was it once with thee, 

When thou, still full of innocence, 

Cam'st to the altar here, 

And from the small and well- conn' d book 

Did'st lisp thy prayer, 

Half childish sport, 

Half God in thy young heart ! 

Gretchen ! 

What thoughts are thine ? 

What deed of shame 

Lurks in thy sinful heart ? 

Is thy prayer utter' d for thy mother's soul, 

AVho into long, long torment slept through thee ? 

Whose blood is on thy threshold ? 

— And stirs there not already 'neath thy heart 

Another quick' ning pulse, that even now 

Tortures itself and thee 

With its foreboding presence ? 


Woe! Woe! 

Oh could I free me from the harrowing thoughts 
That 'gainst my will, 
Throng my disorder'd brain ! 


Dies irce^ dies ilia, 
Solvet sceclum in favilla, 

{The organ sounds 


Grim horror seizes thee ! 
The trumpet sounds 
The graves are shaken 1 
And thy sinful heart. 
From its cold ashy rest 


For torturing flames 
Anew created, 
Trembles into life ! 


Would I were hence ! 
It is as if the organ 
Chok'd my breath, 
As if the choir 
Melted my inmost heart. 


Judex ergo cum sedebt:^ 
Quidquid latet adparebiit, 
Nil inultum remanehiL 


I feel oppressed ! 
The pillars of the wall 
Are closing round me ! 
And the vaulted roof 
Weighs down upon me ! — air ! 


Wouldst hide thee ? sin and shame 
Kemain not hidden. 
Air ! light ! 
Woe's thee ! 


Quid sum miser tunc dicturm 
Quern patronum rogaturus ! 
Cum vix Justus sit secut us^ 


The glorified their faces tmn 

Away from thee ! 
Shudder the pure to reacn 

Their hands to thee I 

Woe ! 


Quid sum miser tunc dicturwi 


Neighbour ! your smelling bottle ! 

{She swoons away,) 




The Hartz Mountains, 
District of Schirke and Elend. 
Faust and Mephistopheles. 


A broomstick do you not at least desire ? 
The roughest he-goat fain would I bestride, 
By this road from our goal we're still far vride 


Except this knotty staff I nought require, 

I still am fresh upon my legs. Beside, 

What boots it to abridge a pleasant way ^ 

Along the labyrinth of these vales to creep, 

Then scale these rocks, whence, in eternal spray, 

Adown the cliffs the silv'ry torrents leap. 

Such is the joy that seasons paths like these ; 

Spring weaves already in the birchen trees ; 

E'en the late pine-grove feels her quick'ning powe^, 

Should she not stimulate these limbs of ours ? 


Nought of this genial influence do I know! 
Within me all is wintry. Frost and snow 
I should prefer my dismal path to bound ; 
How sadly, yonder, with belated glow, 
Rises the ruddy moon's imperfect round. 
Shedding so faint a light, at every tread 
One's sure to stumble 'gainst a rock or tree I 
An Ignis Fatuus I must call instead. 
Yonder one burning merrily, I see. 
Holla ! my friend, I must request your light I 
Why should you flare away so uselessly ? 
Be kind enough to show us up the height! 


I hope from rev'rence to subdue 
The lightness of my nature; true, 
Our course is but a zigzag one. 




Ho ! ho ! 

So man, forsooth, he thinks to imitate ! 

Now, in the devil's name, for once go straight. 

Or out at once your flick' ring life I'll blow ! 


That you are master here is obvious quite ; 
To do your will, I'll cordially essay ; 
But think ! The hill is magic-mad to-night ; 
And if as guide you choose a meteor's light. 
You must not wonder should we go astray. 


{in alternate ^ong). 
Through this dream and magic-sphere. 
Lead us on, thou flick'ring guide. 
Pilot weU our bold career ! 
That we may with rapid stride 
Gain yon regions waste and wide. 

Trees on trees, how swift they flow ! 
How the steadfast granite blocks 
Make obeisance as they go ! 
Hark ! the grim, long-snouted rocks. 
How they snort and how they blow ! 

Through the turf and through the storjjs 

Brook and brooklet speed along. 

Hark, the rustling! Hark, the song! 

Hearken too love's plaintive tones ! 

Voices of those heavenly days. 

When around us and above, 

Like enchantment's mystic lays, 

Breath' d the notes of hope and lovo i 

Like the song of olden time, 

Echo's voice repeats the chime. 
To -whit ! To whoo ! upon the ear 
The mingl'd discord sounds more near, 
The owl, the pewit, and the jay. 
Wakeful and in voice are they? 
Salamanders in the brake. 
Busy too, and wide awake ! 
Stout of paunch and long of liml) 
Sporting in the twilight dim? 


While from every rock and dope 

Snakelike, coil the roots of trees. 

Flinging many a mystic rope, 

Us to frighten, us to seize; 

From rude knots, with life embued, 

Polyp-fangs abroad they spread. 

To snare the wand'rer. 'Neath our tread, 

Mice, in myriads, thousand- hued. 

Through the heath and through the moGS. 

Frisk, a gamesome multitude ; 

Glow-worms flit our path across ; 

Swiftly, the bewild'ring throng, 

A dazzling escort, whirls along. 


Tell me, stand we motionless. 
Or still forward do we press ? 
All things round us whirl and fly ; 
Rocks and trees make strange grimaces. 
Dazzling meteors change their places. 
How they puff and multiply ! 


Now grasp my doublet — we at last 
Have reach'd a central precipice, 
Whence we a wond'ring glance may cast;. 
Where Mammon lights the dark abyss. 


How through the chasms strangely gleam*?^ 
A lurid light, like dawn's red glow ! 
Pervading with its quiv'ring beams, 
The gorges of the gulph below. 
There vapours rise, there clouds float by. 
And here through mist the splendour shinoGi 
Now, like a fount, it bursts on high, 
Now glideth on in slender lines. 
P'ar-reaching, with a hundred veins. 
Through the fai' valley see it glide. 
Here, where the gorge the flood restraioi;, 
At once it scatters far and wide. 
And near us sparks of sputt'ring light. 
Like golden sand- showers, rise and fall 
While see, in all its tow'ring height, 
How fiercely glows yon rocky wall ! 




Dotli not his hall Sir Mammon light, 
^V^ith splendour for this festive night ? 
To see it was a lucky chance. 
E'en now the boisterous guests advance 


How the fierce tempest sweeps around ^ 
My neck it strikes with sudden shock I 


Cling to these ribs of granite rock, 

Or it will hiu'l you in yon gulf profound. 

A murky Vapour thickens night. 

Hark ! through the forest what a crash I 

The scar'd owls flit in wild affright. 

The shiver' d branches creak and clafihi 

The deaf 'ning clang the ear appals.^ 

Prostrate the leafy palace falls, 

Kent are the pillars, grey with eld, 

That the aye-verdant roof upheld. 

The giant trunks, with mighty groan. 

By the fierce blast are overthrown I 

The roots, upriven, creak and moan ! 

In fearful and entangl'd fall, 

One crashing ruin whelms them all. 

While through the desolate abyss, 

Sweeping the wreck-strown precipice. 

The raging storm-blasts howl and hiss. 

Hear'st thou voices sounding oleoz, 
Distant now and now more near ? 
Hark ! the mountain ridge along. 
Streams the witches' magic-song! 

WITCHES (in chorus), 

I Now to the Brocken the witches hie. 

The stubble is yellow, the corn is green ; 

Thither the gath'ring legions fly. 

And sitting aloft is Sir Urian seen. 

O'er stick and o'er stone they go whirling along. 

Witches and he-goats a motley throng. 


Alone old Baubo's coming now; 
She rides upon a farrow sow. 



Honour to who merits honour ! 
Baubo forwards ! 'Tis her due ! 
A goodly sow, and dame upon her, 
Follows then the whole witch crew. 


Which way didst come ? 


O'er Ilsenstein ! 
There I peep'd in an owlet's nest. 
With her broad eye she gaz'd in mine ! 


Drive to the devil, thou hellish pest I 
Why ride so hard ? 


She has graz'd my side, 
Look at the wounds, how deep and how wide I 

WITCHES (m chorus). 
The way is broad, the way is long ; 
Scratches the besom and sticks the prong. 
What mad pursuit ! What tumult wild ! 
Orush'd is the mother and stifl'd the child. 

WIZARDS (Jialf chorUiO), 
Like house-encumber'd snail Wv3 creep, 
While far ahead the women keep. 
For, when to the devil' s' house we speed. 
By a thousand steps they take the lead. 


Not SO, precisely do we view it; — 
They with a thousand steps may do it. 
But let them hasten as they can. 
With one long bound 'tis clear'd by man. 

VOICES {above). 
Come with us, come with us from Felsensee. 

VOICES {from below)* 
Aloft to you we would mount with glee ! 
We wash, and free from all stain are we, 
Yet are doom'd to endless sterility. 


ITie wind is hush'd, the stars grow pale, 
The pensive moon her light doth veil, 


And whirling on, the magic quire, 
Sputter forth sparks of drizzling* iire. 

VOICE {from helow). 

Stay! stay! 

VOICE {Jrom above)* 
What voice of woe 
Calls from the cavern' d depths below? 

VOICE {from helow). 

Stay, stay, stay for me i 
Three eentm*ies I climb in vain, 
And yet can ne'er the summit gain I 
Fain would I with my kindred be ! 


Broom and pitch-fork, goat and prong. 
Serve whereon to whirl along ; 
"Who vainly strives to climb to-night, 
Is lost for ever, luckless wight ! 

DEMI-WITCH (helow). 

I've totter'd after now so long; 
How far before me iire the throng ! 
No peace at home can I obtain. 
Here too my efforts are in vain. 


Salve gives the witches strength to rise ; 
A rag for a sail does well enough ; 
A goodly ship is in every trough ; 
To-night who flies not, never flies. 


And when the topmost peak we round, 
Then alight we on the ground ; 
The heath's wide regions cover ye 
With your mad swarms of witchery. 

( They lei themselves ch'jjv 


They crowd and jostle, whirl and flutter ! 

They whisper, babble, twirl, and splutter ! 

They glimmer, burn, they stink and stutter ! 

All noisomely together blent, 

A genuine witch's element ! 

Stick close, or you'll be borne away. 

Mlieye art thou ? 

K 2 



FAUST (m the distajice). 

Here ! 


Already whirl' d so far ! 
The master then indeed I needs must play. 
Make way I Squire Voland comes ! Sweet folk, make way I 
Here, doctor, grasp me ! From this ceaseless jar 
With one long bound a quick retreat we'll make. 
Even for me too mad these people are. 
Hard by shines something with peculiar glare, 
I feel myself allur'd towards yonder brake. 
Come, come along with me ! we'll slip in there. 


Spirit of contradiction ! Lead the way ! 
Go on, and I will follow after straight. 
'Twas wisely done, however, I must say, 
On May-night to the Brocken to repair, 
And then by choice ourselves to isolate. 


Look at those colour' d flames which yonder flare 
A merry club is met together there. 
In a small circle one is not alone. 


I'd rather be above, though, I must own! 
Already fire and eddying smoke I view. 
The impetuous millions to the devil rido ; 
Full many a riddle will be there untied. 


Ay ! and full many a one be tied anew. 
But let the great world rave and riot, 
While here we house ourselves in quie 
Tis an old practice to create 
Our lesser worlds within the great. 
Young naked witches there I spy. 
And old ones, veil'd more prudently. 
For my sake courteous be to all, 
"The pastime's great, the trouble small. 
Of instruments I hear the cursed din ! 
One must get used to it. Come in I come fa 
There's now no help for it. I'll step before, 



And introducing you as my good Mend, 

Confer on you one obligation more. 

How say you now ? 'Tis no such paltry room. 

Why only look, you scarce can see the end ; 

A hundred fires in rows disperse the gloom ; 

They dance, they talk, they cook, make love, and drink, 

Where could we find aught better, do you think? 


To introduce us, do you purpose here 
As devil or as wizard to appear ? 


Though wont indeed to strict incognito. 

On gala-days one must one's orders show. 

No garter have I to distinguish me. 

But here the cloven foot gives dignity. 

Dost mark yon crawling snail ? This way she hies ' 

She with her searching feelers, hath no doubt, 

Already with quick instinct, found me out. 

Here, if I would, for me there's no disguise. 

From fire to fire, we'll saunter at our leisure, 

The gallant you, I'll cater for your pleasure. 

{To a 'party seated round some expiring embers.) 
Old gentlemen, why are ye moping here ? 
You should be in the midst of all the riot, 
Girt round with revelry and youthful cheer ; 
At home one surely has enough of quiet. 


Who is there can rely upon the nation. 
How great soe'er hath been its obligation ? 
'Tis with the people as with women, they 
To rising stars alone their homage pay. 


Too far astray they wander now-a-days ; 
I, for my part, extol the good old ways ; 
For truly when ourselves were all the rage. 
Then was indeed the genuine golden age. 


We were among the knowing ones, I own, 
And often did what best were let alone. 
Yet now when we would gladly keep our ground, 
k With hurly-burly every thing spins round. 




Wlio, speaking generally, now cares indeed, 
A work of even moderate depth to read ! 
As for our youth, there ne'er has risen yet 
So shallow and so malapert a set. 


{suddenly appearing very 
Since I the last time now the Brocken scale, 
That all are ripe for doom one plainly sees ; 
And just because my cask begins to fail, 
So the whole world is also on the lees. 


Stop, gentlemen, nor pass me by ! 

Lose not this opportunity ! 

Of wares I have a choice collection. 

Pray honour them with your inspection. 

No fellow to my booth you'll find 

On earth, for 'mong my store there's nought. 

Which to the world, and to mankind, 

Hath not some direful mischief wrought. 

No dagger here, which hath not flow'd with blood. 

No bowl, which hath not in some healthy frame 

Infus'd the poison's life-consuming flood, 

No trinket, but hath wrought some woman's shame^. 

No weapon but hath cut some sacred tie. 

Or stabb'd behind the back an enemy. 


Gossip ! but ill the times you understand ; 
What's done is done ! The past's beyond recall ! 
For your antiquities there's no demand ! 
With novelties pray furnish forth your stall. 


May this wild scene my senses spare ! 
This, with a vengeance, is a fair ! 


Upward the eddying concourse throng, 
Thinking to push, thyself art push'd along. 


Who's that, pray ? 


Mark her well ! That's Lililh. 

I'AUST. 135 



Adam's first wife. Of her rich locks beware I 
That charm in which she's parallel' d by few! 
When in its toils a youth she doth ensnare, 
He will not soon escape, I promise you. 


There sit a pair, the old one with the young ; 
Already they have bravely danc'd and sprung! 


To-night there's no cessation ; come along ! 
Another dance begins ; we'll join the throng. 


{dancing with the young one). 
Once there appear' d in vision bright, 

An apple-tree to glad mine eyes. 
Two apples with their rosy light 

Allur'd me, and I sought the prize. 


Apples still fondly ye desire. 

From paradise it hath been so. 
Feelings of joy my breast inspire 

That such too in my garden grow. 

MEPHISTOPHELES {icith the old one). 
Once a wild vision troubl'd me. 
In it I saw a rifted tree. 

It had a ; 

But as it was it pleas' d me too. 


I beg most humbly to saute 
The gallant with the cloven foot ; 

Let him a have ready here, 

If he a does not fear. 


Accursed mob ! How dare ye thus to meet ? 
Have I not shown and demonstrated too, 
That ghosts stand not on ordinary feet ? 
Yet here ye dance as other mortals do ! 

THE FAiu ONE {dancing)^ 
The^. at our ball, what doth he here 



FAUST {dancing). 
Ha ! He in all must interfere. 
When others dance, with him it lies 
Their dancing still to criticise. 
Each step he counts as never made, 
On which his skill is not displayed. 
He's most annoy' d if we advance ; 
If in one narrow round you'd dance, 
As he in his old mill doth move, 
Your dancing doubtless he'd approve. 
And still more pleas' d he'd be if you 
Would him salute with rev'rence due. 


Still here ! what arrogance ! unheard of quite ! 
Vanish ! we now have fill'd the world with light ! 
Ivaws are unheeded by the devil's host ; 
Wise as we are, yet Tegel hath its ghost. 
How long at this delusion, day and night. 
Have I not vainly swept ? 'Tis monstrous quite ! 


Cease here to teaze us any more, I pray. 


Phantoms, I plainly to your face declare, 
Since my own spirit can exert no sway, 
No spiritual control myself will bear. 

{The dancing ccntinues.) 
To-night I see I shall in nought succeed ; 
But I'm prepar'd my travels to pursue. 
And hope before my final step indeed, 
To triimiph over bards and devils too. 


Now in some puddle will he take his station, 
Such is his mode of seeking consolation ; 
Where leeches, feasting on his blood, will drain 
(Spirit and spirits from his haunted brain. 

( To Faust, who has left the dance.) 
But why the charming damsel leave, I pray, 
Who to you in the dance so sweetly sang? 


Ah ! in the very middle of her lay, 

Out of her mouth a small red mouse there sprang. 


Si^ppose there did ! One must not be too nice : 
'Twas well it was not grey, let that suffice. 
Who 'mid his pleasures for a trifle cares ? 


Then saw L 




Mepbisto, seest thou theie 
Standing far off, a lone child, pale and fair? 
Slow from the spot her drooping form she tears. 
And seems with shackl'd feet to move along. 
I own within me the delusion's strong 
That she the likeness of my Gretchen wears. 


Gaze not upon her ! 'Tis not good ! Forbear ! 
'Tis lifeless, magical, a shape of air, 
An idol ! Such to meet with, bodes no good ; 
That rigid look of her's doth freeze man's blood. 
And well-nigh petrifies his heart to stone, — 
The story of Medusa thou hast known. 


Ay, verily ! a corpse's eyes are those. 

Which there was no fond loving hand to close. 

That is the bosom I so fondly press'd, 

That my sweet Gretchen' s form, so oft caress'd. 


Deluded fool ! 'Tis magic, I declare ! 

To each she doth his lov'd one's imasre wear* 



What bliss ! what torture ! vainly I essay 
To turn me from that piteous look away. 
How strangely doth a single crimson line 
Around that lovely neck its coil entwine, 
It shows no broader than a knife's blunt edge . 


Quite right ! I see it also, and allege 

That she beneath her arm her head can bear. 

Since Perseus cut it off. — But vou I swear 



Your fondness for delusion cherish still ! 
Come now, my friend, and let's ascend the hill I 
As on the Prater all is bright and gay. 
And truly if my senses are not gone, 
I see a theatre, — what's going on ? 


They are about to recommence ; — the play 

Will be the last of seven, and spick- span new, 

'Tis usual here that number to present. 

A dilettante did the piece invent, 

And dilettanti will enact it too. 

Excuse me, gentlemen ; to me's assign' d 

As dilettante to uplift the curtain. 


You on the Blocksberg I'm rejoic'd to find. 
That 'tis your most appropriate ?>].)here is cenain 






Vales, where mists still shift and play, 
To ancient hill succeeding, — 

These our scenes ; — so we, to-day, 
May rest, brave sons of Mieding. 


That the marriage golden be, 

Must fifty years be ended. 
More dear this feast of gold to me. 

Contention now suspended. 


Spirits, are ye hov'ring near. 

On downy pinions sailing ? 
Before your king and queen appeaiv 

Their reconcilement hailing. 


Puck draws near and wheels aboutL 

In mazy circles dancing ! 
Hundreds swell his joyous shout. 

Behind him still advancing. 




Ariel wakes his dainty air, 

His lyre celestial stringing. — 
Fools lie Inreth, and the lair, 

With his celestial singing. 


Wedded ones, would ye agree. 

We court your imitation ; 
Would ye fondly love as we. 

We counsel separation. 


If husband scold and wife retort. 

Then bear them far asunder ; 
Her to the burning south transport, 

And him the North Pole under. 

THE WHOLE ORCHESTRA. {Forttssim^,'^ 

Flies and midges all unite 

With frog and chirping cricket. 

Our orchestra throughout the night. 
Resounding in the thicket ! 


Yonder doth the bagpipe come ! 

Its sack an airy bubble. 
Schnick, schnick, schnack, with nasal huuij 

Its notes it doth redouble. 


Spider's foot and midge's wing, 

A toad in form and feature ; 
Together verses it can string. 

Though scarce a living creature 


Tiny step and lofty bound. 

Through dew and exhalation ; 
Ye trip it deftly on the ground, 

But g«iin no elevation. 


Can I indeed believe my eyes ? 

Is't not mere masquerading ? 
What ! Oberon in beauteous guise. 

Among the groups parading ! 



No claws, no tail to whisk about, 

To fright us at our revel ; — 
Yet like the gods of Greece, no doubt. 

He too's a genuine devil. 


These that I'm hitting off to-day 

Are sketches unpretending ; 
Towards Italy without delay, 

My steps I think of bending, 

Alas ! ill-fortune leads me here, 
Where riot still grows louder ; 

And 'mong the witches gather'd her»>y 
But two alone wear powder. 


Your powder and your petticoat. 
Suit hags, there's no gainsaying ; 

Hence I sit fearless on my goat. 
My naked charms displaying. 


We're too well-bred to squabble here. 

Or insult back to render ; 
But may you wither soon, my dear. 

Although so young and tender. 


Nose of fly and gnat's proboscis. 
Throng not the naked beauty ! 

Frogs and crickets in the mosses. 
Keep time and do your duty ! 

WEATHERCOCK {towavds ofie sidey 
What charming company I view 

Together here collected ! 
Gay bachelors, a hopeful crew, 

And brides so unaffected. 
WEATHERCOCK {towards the other sid-o). 
Unless indeed the yawning ground 

Should open to receive them. 
From this vile crew, with sudden bound 

To Hell I'd jump and leave them. 




With small sharp shears, in insect guls^ 

Behold us at your revel! 
That we may tender, filial-wise, 

Our homage to the devil. 

Look now at yonder eager crew, 
How naively they're jesting; 

That they have tender hearts and true 
They stoutly keep protesting. 


Oneself amid this witchery 

How pleasantly one loses ; 
For witches easier are to me 

To govern than the Muses ! 


With proper folks when we appear, 
No one can then surpass us ! 

Keep close, wide is the Blocksberg her»i 
As Germany's Parnassus. 


How name ye that stiff formal man^ 
Who strides with lofty paces ? 

He tracks the game wli jre'er he catu 
He scents the Jesuits' traces. 


Where waters troubl'd are or clear. 

To fish I am delighted ; 
Your pious gentlemen appear 

With devils here united, 


By pious people it is true, 

No medium is rejected ; 
Conventicles, and not a few, 

On Blocksberg are erected. 


Another choir is drawing nigh, 
Far off the drums are beating. 

Be still ! 'tis but the bittern's cry, 
Itfi changeless hq repeating. 



Each twirls about and never stops. 

And as he can advances. 
The crooked leaps ! The clumsy hops 

Nor careth how he dances. 


To take each other's life, I trow, 
Would cordially delight them ! 

As Orpheus' lyre the beasts, so now 
The bagpipe doth unite them. 


My views, in spite of doubt and sueoi 
I hold with stout persistance, 

Inferring from the devils here, 
The evil one's existence. 


My every sense rules Phantasy 
With sway quite too potential. 

Sure I'm demented if the / 
Alone is the essential. 


This entity's a dreadful bore 
And cannot choose but vex me ; 

The ground beneath me ne'er before 
Thus totter' d to perplex me. 


Well pleas'd assembl'd here I view 

Of spirits this profusion; 
From devils, touching angels too, 

I gather some conclusion. 


The ignis fatuus they track out, 

And think they're near the treasury. 

Devil alliterates with doubt, 
Here I abide with pleasme. 


Frog and cricket in the mosses, — 
Confoimd your gasconading! 

Nose of fly and gnat's proboscis 
Most tuneful serenading ! 


As sans-souci this host we greet. 

Their jovial humour showing, 
There's now no walking on our feef^ 

So on our heads we're going. 


In seasons past we snatch' d, tis true, 

Some tit-bits by our cunning ; 
Our shoes, alas, are now danced through 

On our bare soles we're running. 


■'^rom marshy bogs we sprang to light, 

Yet here behold us dancing ; 
The gayest gallants of the night. 

In glitt'ring rows advancing. 


With rapid motion from on high, 

I shot in starry splendour ; 
Now prostrate on the grass I lie ;— i 

Who aid will kindly render ? 


Room there! wheel round! They're commg! lol 

Down sink the bending grasses. 
Though spirits, yet their limbs we know, 

Are hugh substantial masses. 


Don't stamp so heavily, I pray. 

Like elephants you're treading; 
And 'mong the elves be Puck to-day 

The stoutest at the wedding, 


If nature boon, or subtle sprite, 

Endow your soul with pinions ;— 
Then foUow to yon rosy height. 

Through ether's calm dominions. 

ORCHESTRA {ptanmitm)* 
Drifting cloud and misty wreathes 

Are fiird with light elysian. 
O'er reed and leaf the zephyr breatlies> 

So fades the fairy vision ! 


A gloomy Day A Plain. 
Faust and Mephistopheles 


In misery ! despairing ! long wandering pitifully on the face 
oi the earth and now imprison' d ! This gentle hapless crea- 
ture, immur'd in the dungeon as a malefactor and reserved 
for horrid tortures ! That it should come to this ! To this ! — 
Perfidious, worthless spirit, and this thou hast concealed from 
inel — Stand! ay, stand! roll in malicious rage thy fiendish 
eyes! Stand and brave me with thine insupportable pre- 
sence ! Imprison" d ! In hopeless misery ! delivered over to the 
power of evil spirits and the judgment of unpitying humanity! 
And me, the while, thou wert lulling with tasteless dissipa- 
tions ! — conceaUng from me her growing anguish, and leaving 
her to perish without help ! 


She is not the first. 


Hound! Execrable monster! Back with him, oh thou 
infinite spirit! back with the reptile into his dog's shape, in 
which it was his wont to scamper before me at eventide, to 
roll before the feet of the harmless wanderer, and to fasten ou 
his shoulders when he fell. Change him again into his 
favourite shape, that he may crouch on his beUy before me in 
the dust, whilst I spurn him with my foot, the reprobate ! — 
Not the first ! — Woe ! Woe ! By no human soul is it con- 
ceivable that more than one human creature has ever sunk 
into a depth of wretchedness like this, or that the first, in 
her writhing death-agony, should not have atoned in the 
sight of all-pardoning Heaven, for the guilt of all the rest! 
The misery of this one pierces me to the very marrow, and 
harrows up my soul; thou art grinning calmly over the dooui 
of thousands ! 


Now we are once again at our vrit"s end, just where the 
o'erstrained reason of you mortals snaps. Why dost thou 
seek our fellowship, if thou canst not go through with it? 
Would' Bt fly, and art not proof against dizziness? Do we fcioe 
ourselves on thee, or thou on us? 




Cease thus to gnash thy ravenous fangs at me! I loatho 
thee! — Great and glorious spirit, thou who didst vouchsafe 
to reveal thyself unto me, thou who dost know my very heart 
and soul, why hast thou linked me w^ith this base associate, 
who feeds on mischief and revels in destruction ? 


Hast done? 


Save her 1 or woe to thee ! The direst of curses on thee for 
thousands of years ! 


I cannot loose the bands of the avenger, nor withdraw his 
bolts. — Save her ! — ^^Vho was it plimged her into perdition : 1 
or thou? 


{looks wildly around). 


Would'st grasp the thunder? Well for you, poor mortals, 
that 'tis not yours to wield ! To smite to atoms, the being 
however innocent, who obstructs his path, such is the tyrant's 
fashion of relieving himself in difficulties. 


Convey me thither ! She shall be free ! 


And the danger to which thou dost expose thyself? Know, 
the guilt of blood, shed by thy hand, lies yet upon the town. 
Over the place w^here fell the murdered one, avenging spirits 
hover and watch for the returning murderer. 


This too from thee? The death and downfall of a wwld 
be on thee, monster! Conduct me thither, I say, and set her 
free ! 


I will conduct thee, and what I can do, — hear ! Have I all 
power in heaven and upon earth? I'll cloud the senses of the 
warder, — do thou possess thyself of the keys and lead her 
forth with human hand. I will keep watch ! The magi(5 
steeds are waiting, I bear thee ofT. Thus much is in my power. 


Up and away* 


Night An open Plaitu 

Faust, Mephistopheles. 
f^Rushing along on Hack horses,) 


What weave they round the Ravenstone? 


I know not what they shape and brew. 


They're soaring, swooping, bending, stooping. 


A witches' pack. 


They charm, they strew. 


On' On! 


Faust {with a hunch of keys and a lamp before a small iron 
door) . 

A fear unwonted o'er my spirit falls ; 

Man's concentrated woe o'er whelms me here ; 

She dwells immur'd within these dripping walls; 

Her only trespass a delusion dear ! 

And thou dost linger at the fatal door ! 

Thou dread' st to look upon her face once more ! 

On ! While thou dalliest, draws her death-hour near. 

{He seizes the lock. Singing loithtn-) 

My mother, the harlot. 
She took me and slew! 
My father, the scoundrel, 
Hath eaten me too ! 
My sweet little sister 
Hath all my bones laid. 
Where soft winds are playing 
All in the green snade j 


'ITiCTi beoamo I a wood-bird, and sang on the spray, 
Fly away! little bird, fly away! fly away! 

(Faust — opening the lock,) 
Ah ! she forebodes not that her lover's near. 
The clanking chains, the rustling straw to hear. 

He enters. 

MAKGAHET {Jiiding her face in the led of straw). 
Woe ! woe ! they come ! oh bitter 'tis to die ! 

FAUST {softly). 
Hush ! hush ! be still ! I come to set thee free ? 

MARGARET {throwing herself at his feet). 
If thou art human, feel my misery. 


Ihou wilt a'vvake the jailor with thy cry ! 

{He grasps the chaiiis to unloch thtm J. 
MARGARET {on her hiees). 
"Who, executioner, to thee could give 
O'er me this cruel power ? 
To bear me oiF at midnight's solemn hour ! 
Be merciful, and spare me 1 let me live ! 
Is dawn not time enough ? 

{she stands up.) 
I'm still so young ! 
So very young, and must so early die ! 
Fair was I once, thence hath my ruin sprung. 
My love is now afar, he then was nigh ; 
Torn lies the garland, the fair blossoms strew'd. 
Oh do not seize me with a hand so rude ! 
Spare me ! What harm have I e'er done to thee ? 
For mercy let me not in vain implore, 
I ne'er have seen thee in my life before ! 


Can I endure this bitter agony ? 


I'm wholly in thy power. Ah sufier me 

But once again to give my babe the breast. 

Through the long night I sooth' d it and caress' d : 

They took it from me but to give me pain. 

And now, they say that I my child have slain. 

Ah, ne'er shall I be happy, ne'er again. 

T?icn they sing songs about me ! How wicked of the throng 



A ballad of the olden time ends so, 
How came they to apply the song? 


{throwing himself on the ground). 
See, at thy feet a lover bendeth low, 
To loose the bonds of wretchedness and woe. 


{throws herself beside hijrt). 
Oh, let us kneel and move the saints by prayer ! 
Look! look! yon stairs below 
Under the threshold there. 
Hell's flames are all aglow ! 
Beneath the floor 
With hideous noise. 
The devils roar ! 

FATJST {aloud). 

Gretchen ! Gretchen ! 

MAHGAHET {Usteuiny). 
That was my lov'd one's voice I 

{she spriiigs up, the chains fall off.) 
Where is he ? I have heard him call, I'm free ! 
I will away, there's none shall hinder me. 
I to his neck will fly, 
Upon his bosom lie ! 

Gretchen, he call'd! on yonder threshold stood. 
Through all the howling of Hell's fiery flood. 
The fiends' dark sneers, their devilish scorn above, 
I knew the sweet, the blissful tones of love. 


Tis I ! 


'Tis thou! O say so once again! 

{embracing him,) 

'Tis he ! 'Tis he! where's no\^ the torturing pain? 

Where are the fetters ? where the dungeon's glooia ? 

'Tis thou ! 'Tis thou ! To save me thou art come ! 

And I am sav'd! — 

Abeady now the very street I see 

Where the first time I caught a glimpse of thee. 



And there too is the pleasant garden shade, 
' Vhere I and Martha for thy coming staid. 


(endeavouring to lead her away). 

Come ! come away ! 


Oh still delay! 

I love to linger where thou stay'st. 

'^caressmy Imn») 


Oh come ! for if thou dost not haste, 
Our ling'ring we shall both deplore. 


What dearest ? can'st thou kiss me now no more ! 

So short a time away from me, and yet, 

Love's fond embrace thou could' st so soon forget ! 

Why on thy neck so anxious do I feel ? 

When formerly a perfect heaven of bliss. 

From thy dear looks and words would o'er me steal. 

Ah ! with what tenderness thou then did'st kiss ! 

Kiss me ! 

Or I'll kiss thee ! 

(she embraces him,) 
Woe ! woe ! Thy lips are cold, — are dumb. 
Thy love where hast thou left ? 
Who hath me of thy love bereft ? 

{she turns away from him.) 


Only take courage ! dearest ! prithee, come ! 
Thee to my heart with tenderness I'll hold. 
And cherish thee with ardour thousand-fold; 
I but entreat thee now to follow me ! 


{turning towards him)* 
And art thou he ? and art thou really he ? 


Tis I ! Oh come ! 


Thou wilt strike off my chain, 
And thou wilt take me to thine arms agai/i. 

Hoy^ comes it that thou dost not shrink from me?— * 
And dost thou know, love, whom thou would' st set free? 


Come ! come ! already night begins to waue. 


T sent my mother to her grave, 

£ drown' d my child beneath the wave. 

Was it not given to thee and me — thee too ? 

'Tis thou thyself! I scarce believe it yet. 

Give me thy hand ! It is no dream ! 'Tis true ! 

Thine own dear hand ! — But how is this ? 'Tis wet ! 

Quick, wipe it off! It seems like blood — Ah me ! 

"Whose blood ? what hast thou done ? put up thy sword 

I pray thee, do ! 


Death is in every v/ord. 
Oh, dearest, let the past forgotten be. 


Yet must thou linger here in sorrow. 

The graves I will describe to thee. 

And thou must see to them to-morrow. 

Ileserve the best place for my mother. 

Close at her side inter my brother. 

Me at some little distance lay, 

But, I entreat thee, not too far away! 

And place my little babe on my right breast. 

The little one alone will lie near me! — 

^h 'twas a sweet, a precious joy, of yore 

To nestle at thy side so lovingly! 

It will be mine no more, ah never more ! 

I feel as if I forced my love on thee. 

As if thou still wert thrusting me away ; 

Yet His thyself, thy fond, kind looks I sec. 


If thou dost feel 'tis I, then come, I pray. 


What, there? without? 


Yes, forth in the ftco au. 




Ay, if the grave's without, — If death lurk there I 
Hence to the everlasting resting-place, 
And not one step beyond ! — Thou^rt leaving mo ? 
Oh Henry! would that I could go with thee! 


Tliou can'st! But will it I open stands the door. 


I dare not go! I've nought to hope for more. 
What boots it to escape? They lurk for me. 
'Tis wretched still to beg from day to day, 
And bmlhen'd with an evil conscience too ! 
'Tis wretched in a foreign land to stray, 
And they will catch me whatsoe^^er I do ! 


But I will OYCv bear thee company. 


Quick! Quick! 

Save thy poor child 

Keep to the path 

The brook along, 

Over the bridge 

To the wood beyond. 

To the left, where the plauk irr^ 

In the pond. 

Seize it at once! 

It tries to rise. 

It struggles yet! 

Save it. Oh save! 


Collect thy thoughts, one step and thou art fc?e I 


Were wn but only past the hill! 

Thert trts my mother on a stone. 

Over my brain there flills a chill ! 

There sits my mother on a stone ; 

Slowly her head moves to and fro 

She winks not, nods not, her head droops lovr. 

She slumber" d so long, nor wak'd again. 

That w^e might be happy she slumberVl tdeu. 

Ah ! those were pleasant times ! 



Alas ! since here 
Nor argument avails, nor prayer, nor tear, 
I'll yenture forcibly to bear thee hence ! 


Loose me ! I will not suffer violence ! 
Withdraw ihy murderous hand, hold not so fast ! 
I have done all to please thee in the past. 


Day dawns ! My love ! My love ! 


Yes ! day draws near 
The day of judgment, too, will soon appear. 
It should have been my bridal ! No one tell. 
That thy poor Margaret thou hast kno^vn too well. 
Woe to my garland ! Its bloom is o'er ! 
Though not at the dance, we shall meet once more^ 
The crowd doth gather, in silence it rolls. 
The squares, the streets, scarce hold the throng. 
The staff is broken, — ^the death-bell tolls, — 
They bind and seize me ; I'm hurried along. 
To the seat of blood already I'm bound; 
Quivers each neck as the naked steel 
Quivers on mine the blow to deal. 
The silence of the grave now broods around ! 


Would I had ne'er been born ! 

MEPHisTOPHELES {appears tviikout). 
Up ! or you're lost. 
Vain hesitation ! Babbling, quaking I 
My steeds are shiv'ring. Morn is breaking. 


What from the £oor ascendeth like a ghost ? 
'Tis he ! 'Tis he ; Him from my presence chiLS^- 1 
What is his purpose in this holy 2)lace? 
It is for me he cometh ! 


Thou shalt live I 


Judgment of God! To thee my soul I give! 




Come ! come ! I'll leave thee else to share her dooci* 


Father, I'm thine ! Save me ! To thee I come 
Angelic hosts ! yoiir downy pinions wave, 
Encamp around me to protect and save I 
Henry I shudder now to look on thee. 


She now is judg'd ! 

VOICES (/rom above). 
Is saved! 


Come thou with me! 

( Vanishes with Fau 

VOICE {from ivitaixi^ dying awasy}* 
Honryl Homy! 



IPHIGENIA, THOAS, King of the Taunara 



A Grove before the Temple of Diana, 


Beneath your leafy gloom, ye waving boiighis 
Of this old, shady, consecrated grove, 
As in the goddess' silent sanctuary, 
"With the same shudd'ring feeling forth I step, 
As when I trod it first, nor ever here 
Doth my unquiet spirit feel at home. 
Long as the mighty will, to which I bow. 
Hath kept me here conceal' d, still, as at first, 
I feel myself a stranger. For the sea 
Doth sever me, alas ! from those I love. 
And day by day upon the shore I stand. 
My soul still seeking for the land of Greece. 
But to my sighs, the hollow-sounding waves 
Bring, save their own hoarse murmurs, no reply 
Alas for him ! who friendless and alone. 
Remote from parents and from brethren dwells; 
From him grief snatches every coming joy 
Ere it doth reach his lip. His restless thoughts 
Revert for ever to his father's halls, 
Where first to him the radiant sun unclos'd 
The gates of heav'n ; where closer, day by day* 
Brothers and sisters, leagu'd in pastime sweet. 
Around each other twin'd the bonds of love. 
I will not judge the counsel of the gods ; 


Yet, truly, woman's lot doth merit pity. 

Man rules alike at home and in the field, 

Nor is in foreign climes without resource ; 

Possession gladdens him, him conquest crowni?, 

And him an honourable death awaits. 

How circumscrib'd is woman's destiny ! 

Obedience to a harsh, imperious lord, 

Her duty, and her comfort ; sad her fate, 

Whom hostile fortune drives to lands remote: 

Thus I, by noble Thoas, am detain' d. 

Bound with a heavy, though a sacred chain. 

(3h ! with what shame, Diana, I confess 

That with repugnance I perform these rites 

For thee, divine protectress! unto whom 

1 would in freedom dedicate my life. 

In thee, Diana, I have always hop'd, 

And still I hope in thee, who didst infold 

Within the holy shelter of thine arm 

The outcast daughter of the mighty king. 

Daughter of J ove ! hast thou from ruin'd Troy 

Led back in triumph to his native land 

The mighty man, whom thou didst sore afflict, 

His daughter's life in sacrifice demanding, — 

Hast thou for him, the godlike Agamemnon, 

Who to thine altar led his darling child, 

Preserv'd his wife, Electra, and his son, 

His dearest treasures ? — then at length restore 

Thy suppliant also to her f!;iends and home, 

And save her, as thou once from death didst savo. 

So now, from living here, a second death. 


All K AS. 

The king hath sent me hither, and commands 
To hail Diana's priestess. This the day, 
On which for new and wonderful success, 
Tauris her goddess thanks. The king and host 
Draw near, — I come to herald theii approach. 



We are prepared to give them worthy greeting ; 
Our goddess doth behold with gracious eye 
The welcome sacrifice from Thoas' hand. 


Oh, priestess, that thine eye more mildly beamVl,- - 
Thou much-re ver'd one, — that I found thy glane^ ^ 
O consecrated maid, more calm, more bright, 
To all a happy omen ! Still doth grief. 
With gloom mysterious, shroud thy inner mind; 
Still, still, through many a year we wait in vain 
For one confiding utt'rance from thy breast. 
Long as I've known thee in this holy place. 
That look of thine hath ever made me shudder ; 
And, as with iron bands, thy soul remains 
Lock'd in the deep recesses of thy breast. 


As doth become the exile and the orphan. 


Dost thou then here seem exil'd and an orphan? 


Can foreign scenes our fatherland replace ? 


Thy fatherland is foreign now to thee. 


Hence is it that my bleeding heart ne'er heaJs., 
In early youth, when first my soul, in love. 
Held father, mother, brethren fondly twin'd, 
A group of tender germs, in union sweet. 
We sprang in beauty from the parent stem. 
And heavenward grew. An unrelenting curse 
Then seiz"d and sever'd me from those I lov'd. 
And wrench* d with iron grasp the beauteous band^. 
It vanish' d then, the fairest charm of youth. 
The simple gladness of life's early dawn; 
Though sav d, I was a shadow of myself, 
And life's fresh joyance bloom'd in me no .more. 


If thus thou ever dost lament thy fate, 
I must accuse thee of ingratitude. 



Tlianks have you ever. 


Not the honest thanks 
AVhich prompt the heart to offices of love ; 
The joyous glance, revealing to the host 
A grateful spirit, with its Jot content. 
When thee a deep mysterious destiny 
Brought to this sacred fane, long years ago, 
To greet thee, as a treasure sent from heaven. 
With reverence and affection, Thoas came. 
Benign and friendly was this shore to thee, 
W^hich had before each stranger's heart appalL'd^ 
For, till thy coming, none e'er trod om* realm 
But fell, according to an ancient rite, 
A bloody victim at Diana's shrine. 


Fieeiy to breathe alone is not to live. 
Say, is it life, within this holy fane, 
Like a poor ghost around its sepulchre 
To linger out my days? Or call you that 
A life of conscious happiness and joy. 
When every hour, dream' d listlessly away, 
Leads to those dark and melancholy days. 
Which the sad troop of the departed spend 
In self-forge tfulness on Lethe's shore ? 
A useless life is but an early death; 
This, woman's lot, is eminently mine. 


I can forgive, though I must needs deplore, 

The noble pride which underrates itself. 

It robs thee of the happiness of life. 

And hast thou, since thy coming here, done nought? 

Who cheer'd the gloomy temper of the king? 

Who hath with gentle eloquence annuird, 

From yeav to year, the usage of our sires, 

By which, a victim at Diana's shrine, 

Each stranger perish VI, thus fi'om certain death 

Sending so oft the rescued captive home? 

Hath not Diana, harbouring no revenge 

Fo** 'll^i^ suspension of her bloody rites. 



In richest measure heard thy gentle prayer? 

On joyous pinions o'er the advancing host, 

Doth not triumphant conquest proudly soar 

And feels not every one a happier lot, 

Since Thoas, who so long hath guided us 

With wisdom and with valour, sway'd by thee. 

The joy of mild benignity approves, 

"Which leads him to relax the rigid claims 

Of mute submission? Call thyself useless ! Thou, 

Thou, from whose being o'er a thousand hearts, 

A h&aling balsam flows ? when to a race, 

To whom a god consign'd thee, thou dost prove 

A fountain of perpetual happiness, 

And from this dire inhospitable shore 

Dost to the stranger grant a safe return? 


The little done doth vanish to the mind, 
Which forward sees how much remains to do. 


Him dost thou praise, who underrates his deeds? 


Who estimates his deeds is justly blam'd. 


We blame alike, who proudly disregard 

Their genuine merit, and who vainly prize 

Their spurious worth too highly. Trust me, priestess, 

And hearken to the counsel of a man 

With honest zeal devoted to thy service : 

When Thoas comes to-day to speak with thee 

Lend to his purpos'd words a gracious ear. 


The well-intention' d counsel troubles me : 
His offer studiously I've sought to shun. 


Thy duty and thy interest calmly weigh. 

Since the king lost his son, he trusts but few., 

Nor those as formerly. Each noble's son 

He views with jealous eye as his successor ; 

He dreads a solitary, helpless age, 

Or rash rebellion, or untimely death. 

A Scythian studies not the rules of speech, 

And least of all the king. lie ^yho is used 
To act and to command, knows not the art, 
From far, with subtle tact, to guide discour^;^ 
Through many windings to its destin'd goal. 
Do not embarrass him with shy reserve 
And studied misconception : graciously, 
And with submission, meet the royal wish. 


Shall I then speed the doom that threatens iiic? 


His gracious offer canst thou call a threat? 


"^Tis tlie most terrible of all to me. 


For his affection grant him confidence. 


If he will first redeem my soul from fear. 


Why dost thou hide from him thy origin ? 


A priestess secrecy doth well become. 


Nought to our monarch should a secret be : 
And, though he doth not seek to fixthom thine. 
His noble nature feels, ay, deeply feels, 
That studiously thou hid'st thyself from him. 


Displeasure doth he harbour 'gainst me, then ? 


Almost it seenip so. True, he speaks not of theCj 
But casual words have taught me that the wish 
To call thee his hath firmly seiz'd his soul ; 
Oh, do not leave the monarch to himself! 
Lest his displeasure, rip'ning in his breast, 
Should work thee woe, so with repentance thou 
Too late my faithful counsel shalt recall. 


How 1 doth the monarch purpose what no man 
Of noble mind, who loves his honest name. 
Whose bosom reverence for the gods restrainCc 
W^ould ever think of? Will he force employ 


To tear me from this consecrated fane ? 
Then will I call the gods, and chiefly thcc, 
Diana, goddess resolute, to aid me ; 
Thyself a virgin, thoult a virgin shield, 
And succour to thy priestess gladly yield. 


Be tranquil ! Passion, and youth's fiery blood 

Impel not Thoas rashly to commit 

A deed so lawless. In his present mood, 

I fear from him another harsh resolve. 

Which (for his soul is steadfast and unmov'd,) 

He then will execute without delay. 

Therefore I pray thee, canst thou grant no more. 

At least be grateful- — give thy confidence. 


Oh tell me what is further known to thee. 


Learn it from him. I see the king approach ; 

Thou honour' st him, and thy own heart will prompt thee 

To meet him kindly and with confidence. 

A noble man by woman's gentle word 

May oft be led. 

IPHIGENIA, alone, 
I see not how I can 
Follow^ the counsel of my faithful friend. 
But willingly the duty I perform 
Of giving thanks for benefits receiv'd. 
And much I wish that to the king my lips 
With truth coxHd utter what would please his eatc 



Her royal gifts the goddess shower on thee , 
Imparting conquest, wealth, and high renown. 
Dominion, and the welfare of thy house. 
With the fulfilment of each pious wish, 
That thou, who over numbers rul'st supreme^ 
lliyself may'st be supreme in happiness! 





Contented were I with my people's praise ; 

My conquests others more than I enjoy. 

Oh ! be he king or subject, he's most blest, 

Who in his home finds happiness and peace. 

Thou shar'dst my sorrow, when a hostile swowi 

Tore from my side my last, my dearest son ; 

Long as fierce vengeance occupied my heart, 

I did not feel my dwelling's dreary void ; 

But now, retm-ning home, my rage appeas'd, 

My foes defeated, and my son aveng'd, 

I find there nothing left to comfort me. 

The glad obedience, which I used to see 

Kindling in every eye, is smother' d now 

In discontent and gloom; each, pond'ring, weighs 

The changes which a future day may bring, 

^Lud serves the childless king, because compell'd. 

To-day I come within this sacred fane, 

Which I have often enter'd to implore 

And thank the gods for conquest. In my breast 

I bear an old and fondly-cherish'd wish. 

To which methinks thou canst not be a stranger ; 

Thee, maid^ a blessing to myself and realm, 

I hope, as bride, to carry to my home. 


Too great thine ofier, king, to one imknown ; 
Abash' d the fugitive before thee stands. 
Who on this shore sought only what thou gav'st, 
Safety and peace. 


Thus still to shroud thyself 
From me, as from the lowest, in the veil 
Of mystery which wrapp'd thy coming here. 
Would in no country be deem'd just or right. 
Strangers this shore appall'd; 'twas so ordain'd 
Alike by law and stern necessity. 
From thee alone — a kindly welcom'd guest, 
Who hast enjoy'd each hallow'd privilege. 
And spent thy days in freedom unrestrained— 
From thee I hop'd that confidence to gain 
Which every faithful host may justly claim. 



If I conceard, king, my name, my race, 
'Twas fear that prompted me, and not mistrust. 
For didst thou know who stan-ds before thee now, 
And what accursed head thy arm protects, 
A shudd'ring horror would possess thy heart ; 
And, far from wishing me to share thy throne, 
Thou, ere the time appointed, from thy realm 
Wouldst banish me perchance, and thrust me forth 
Before a glad reunion with my friends 
And period to my wand'rings is ordain' d, 
To meet that sorrow, which in every clime, 
With cold, inhospitable, fearful hand. 
Awaits the outcast, exil'd from his home. 


Whatever respecting thee the gods decree, 

Whate'er their doom for thee and for thy house, 

Since thou hast dwelt amongst us, and enjoy'd 

The privilege the pious stranger claims, 

To me hath fail'd no blessing sent from Heaven ; 

And to persuade me, that protecting thee 

I shield a guilty head, were hard indeed. 


Thy bounty, not the guest, draws blessings do^v^, 


The kindness shown the wicked is not blest. 
End then thy silence, priestess ; not unjust 
Is he who doth demand it. In my hands 
The goddess plac'd thee ; thou hast been to ine 
As sacred as to her, and her behest 
Shall for the future also be my law. 
If thou canst hope in safety to return 
Back to thy kindred, I renounce my claims : 
But is thy homeward path for ever clos'd — 
Or doth thy race in hopeless exile rove. 
Or lie extinguish' d by some mighty woe- 
Then may I claim thee by more laws than one. 
Speak openly, thou know'st I keep my word. 


Its ancient bands reluctantly my tongue 
Doth loose, a iong-hid secret to divulge ; 




For once imparted, it resumes no more 
The safe asylum of the inmost heart, 
But thenceforth, as the powers above deurec^ 
Doth work its ministry of weal or woe. 
Attend ! I issue from the Titan's race. 


A word momentous calmly hast thou spolcen. 

Him nam'st thou ancestor whom all the worid 

Knows as a sometime favourite of the gods ? 

Is it that Tantalus, whom Jove himself 

Drew to his council and his social board ? 

On whose experienc'd words, with wisdom fraught^ 

As on the language of an oracle, 

E'en gods delighted hung ? 


'Tis even he ; 
But gods should not hold intercourse with men 
As with themselves. Too weak the human race. 
Not to grow dizzy on unwonted heights. 
Ignoble was he not, and no betrayer ; 
To be the Thunderer's slave, he was too great ; 
To be his friend and comrade, — but a man. 
His crime was human, and their doom severe ; 
For poets sing, that treachery and pride 
Did from Jove's table hurl him headlong down. 
To grovel in the depths of Tartarus. 
Alas, and his whole race their hate pursues. 


Bear they their own guilt, or their ancestors' ^ 


The Titan's mighty breast and nervous frame 

Was his descendant's certain heritage ; 

But round their brow Jove forg'd a band of brass.. 

Wisdom and patience, prudence and restraint, 

He from their gloomy, fearful eye conceal' d; 

In them each passion grew to savage rage. 

And headlong rush'd uncheck'd. The Titan's son. 

The strong- wiird Pelops, won his beauteous bride, 

Hippodamia, child of CEnomaus, 

Through treachery and murder; she ere long 

Bore him two children^ Atreus and lliyestes ; 



With envy they beheld the growing love 
Their father cherish' d for a first-born son 
Sprung from another union. Bound by hate. 
In secret they contrive their brother's death. 
The sire, the crime imputing to his wife, 
With savage fury claim'd from her his child, 
And she in terror did destroy herself— 


Thou'rt silent? Pause not in thy narrative * 
Do not repent thy confidence — say on ! 


How blest is he who his progenitors 

With pride remembers, to the list'ner tells 

The story of their greatness, of their deeds, 

And, silently rejoicing, sees himself 

Link'd to this goodly chain ! For the same stock 

Bears not the monster and the demigod : 

A line, or good or evil, ushers in 

The glory or the terror of the world. — 

After the death of Pelops, his two sons 

Rul'd o'er the city with divided sway. 

But such an union could not long endure. 

His brother's honour first Thyestes wounds. 

In vengeance Atreus drove him from the realm. 

Thyestes, planning horrors, long before 

Had stealthily procur'd his brother's son, 

Whom he in secret nurtur'd as his own. 

Bevenge and fury in his breast he pour'd, 

Then to the royal city sent him forth, 

That in his uncle he might slay his sire, 

The meditated murder was disclos'd. 

And by the Idng most cruelly aveng'd. 

Who slaughter's, as he thought, his brother's son. 

Too late he learn'd whose dying tortures met 

His drunken gaze; and seeking to assuage 

The insatiate vengeance that possess' d his soul, 

He plann'd a deed unheard of. He assum'd 

A friendly tone, seem'd reconcil'd, appeas'd. 

And lur'd his brother, with hib children twain. 

Back to his kingdom; these he seiz'd and slew; 

Then plac'd the loathsome and abhorrent food 



At his first meal before the unconscious sire. 
And when Thyestes had his hunger still'd 
With his own flash, a sadness seiz'd his soul; 
He for his children ask'd, — their steps, their voioe 
Fancied he heard already at the door ; 
And Atreus, grinning with malicious joy, 
Threw in the members of the slaughter' d boys.— » 
Shudd'ring, O king, thou dost avert thy face : 
So did the sun his radiant visage hide. 
And swerve his chariot from the eternal path. 
These, monarch, are thy priestess' ancestors, 
And many a dreadful fate of mortal doom, 
And many a deed of the bewilder' d brain, 
Dark night doth cover with her sable wing, 
Or shroud in gloomy twilight. 


Hidden there 
Let them abide. A truce to horror now, 
And tell me by what miracle thou sprang' st 
From race so savage. 


Atreus' eldest son 
Was Agamemnon; he, O king, my sire: 
But I may say with truth, tliat, from a child. 
In him the model of a perfect man 
I witness' d ever. Clytemnestra bore 
To him, myseK, the firstling of their love, 
Electra then. Peaceful the monarch rul'd. 
And to the house of Tantalus was given 
A long- withheld repose. A son alone 
Was wanting to complete my parent's bliss; 
Scarce was this wish fulfill'd, and young Oresteg^ 
The household's darling, with his sisters grew. 
When new misfortunes vex'd our ancient house. 
To you hath come the rumour of the war, 
Which, to avenge the fairest woman's wrongs, 
The force united of the Grecian kings 
Hound Ilion's walls encamp' d. Whether the tovm 
Was humbl'd, and achiev'd their great revenge^ 
I have not heard. My father led the host. 
In Aulis vainly for a favom-ng gale 


They waited; for, enrag'd against their chief, 
Diana stay'd their progress, and required, 
Through Chalcas' voice, the monarch's eldest daught< 
They lur'd me with my mother to the camp. 
And at Diana's altar doom'd this head. — 
She was appeas'd; she did not wish my blood. 
And wrapt me in a soft protecting cloud ; 
Within this temple from the dream of death 
I waken' d first. Yes, I myself am she; 
Iphigenia, — I who speak to thee 
Am Atreus' grandchild, Agamemnon's child. 
And great Diana's consecrated priestess. 


I yield no higher honour or regard 

To the king's daughter than the maid unknown; 

Once more my first proposal I repeat; 

Come, follow me, and share what I possess. 


How dare I venture such a step, O king? 

Hath not the goddess who protected me 

Alone a right to my devoted head.^ 

'Twas she who chose for me this sanctuary. 

Where she perchance reserves me for my sire. 

By my apparent death enough chastis'd. 

To be the joy and solace of his age. 

Perchance my glad return is near; and ho 

If I, unmindful of her purposes, 

Had here attach' d myself against her will? 

I ask'd a signal, did she wish my stay. 


The signal is that still thou tarriest here. 
Seek not evasively such vain pretexts. 
Not many words are needed to refuse, 
By the refus'd the no alone is heard. 


Mine are not words meant only to deceive; 
I have to thee my inmost heart reveal' d. 
And doth no inward voice suggest to thee, 
How I with yearning soul must pine to se*e 
My father, mother, and my long-lost homo? 



Oh let thy vessels bear me thither, king i 
That in the ancient halls, where sorrow still 
In accents low doth fondly breathe my name, 
Joy, as in welcome of a new-born child, 
May round the columns twine the fairest wreath* 
Thou wouldst to me and mine new life impart. 


Then go ! the promptings of thy heart obey ; 
Despise the voice of reason and good counsel. 
Be quite the woman, sway'd by each desire. 
That bridleless impels her to and fro. 
When passion rages fiercely in her breast, 
No sacred tie withholds her from the wretch 
Who would allure her to forsake for him 
A husband's or a father's guardian arms; 
Extinct within her heart its fiery glow, 
The golden tongue of eloquence in vain 
With words of truth and power assails her ear. 


Remember now, O king, thy noble words ! 

My trust and candour wilt thou thus repay? 

Thou seem'dst, methought, prepar'd to hear the tratb« 


For this unlock' d-for answer not prepar'd. 
Yet 'twas to be expected; knew I not 
That 'twas with woman I had now to deal ? 


Upbraid not thus, O king, our feeble sex ! 

Though not in dignity to match with yours, 

The weapons woman wields are not ignoble. 

And trust me, Thoas, in thy happiness 

I have a deeper insight than thyself. 

Thou thinkest, ignorant alike of both, 

A closer imion would augment our bliss ; 

Inspir'd with confidence and honest zeal 

Thou strongly urgest me to yield consent; 

And here I thank the gods, who give me strength 

To shun a doom unratified by them. 


*Tis not a god, 'tis thine own heart that speake. 



Tis through the heart alone they speak to us. 


To hear them have I not an equal right ? 


The raging tempest drowns the still, smaU voice. 


This voice no doubt the priestess hears alone. 


Before all others should the prince attend it. 


Thy sacred office, and ancestral right 

To Jove's own table, place thee with the gods 

In closer union than an sarth-born savage. 


Thus must I now the confidence atone 
Thyself extorted from me ! 


I'm a man, 
And better 'tis we end this conference. 
Hear then my last resolve. Be priestess still 
Of the great goddess who selected thee ; 
And may she pardon me, that I from her, 
Unjustly and with secret self-reproach, 
Her ancient sacrifice so long withheld. 
From olden times no stranger near'd our shoro 
But fell a victim at her sacred shrine. 
But thou, with land affection (which at times 
Seem'd like a gentle daughter's tender love, 
At times assumed to my enraptur'd heart 
The modest inclination of a bride). 
Didst so inthral me, as with magic bonds, 
That I forgot my duty. Thou clidst rock 
My senses in a dream : I did not hear 
My people's murmurs : now they cry aloud, 
Ascribing my poor son's untimely death 
To this my guilt. No longer for thy sake 
Will I oppose the wishes of the crowd, 
Who m'gently demand the sacrifice. 


For mine own sake I ne'er desired it from tlieo* 


Wlio to the gods ascribe a thirst for blood 
Do misconceive their nature, and impute 
To them their own inhuman dark desires. 
Did not Diana snatch me from the priest. 
Preferring my poor service to my death? 


'Tis not for us, on reason's shifting grounds. 
Lightly to guide and construe lites divine. 
Perform thy duty ; I'll accomplish mine. 
Two strangers, whom in caverns of the shore 
We found conceal'd, and w^hose arrival here 
Bodes to my realm no good, are in my power. 
With them thy goddess may once more resume 
Her ancient, pious, long-suspended rites ! 
I send them here, — thy duty not unknown. 

IPHIGENIA, alone. 
Gracious protectress ! thou hast clouds 
To shelter innocence distress' d, 
And genial gales from Fate's rude grasp, 
Safely to waft her o'er the sea, 
O'er the wide earth's remotest realms, 
Where'er it seemeth good to thee. 
Wise art thou, — thine all-seeing eye 
The future and the past sm'veys. 
And doth on all thy children rest. 
E'en as thy pure and guardian light 
Keeps o'er the earth its silent watch 
The beauty and the life of night. 
O Goddess ! keep my hands from blood I 
Blessing it never brings, nor peace ; 
And still in evil hours the form 
Of the chance-mlrder'd man appears 
To fill the unwilling murderer's soul 
With horrible and gloomy fears. 
For fondly the Immortals view 
Man's widely-scatter'd, simple race; 
And the poor mortal's transient lifo 
Gladly prolong, that he may raise 
Awhile to their eternal heavens 
His sympathetic joyous gaze. 





It IS the path of death that now we tread : 
At every step my soul grov/s more serene. 
When I implor'd Apollo to remove 
The grisly band of Furies from my side, 
He seem'd, with hope-inspiring, godlike words. 
To promise aid and safety in the fane 
Of his lov'd sister, who o'er Tauris rules. 
Thus the prophetic word fulfils itself, 
That with my life shall terminate my woe. 
How easy 'tis for me, whose heart is crush' d, 
Whose sense is deaden' d by a hand divine, 
Thus to renounce the beauteous light of day ! 
And must the son of Atreus not entwine 
The wreath of conquest round his dying brow- 
Must I, as my forefathers, as my sire. 
Bleed like a victim, — an ignoble death — 
So be it ! Better at the altar here, 
Than in a nook obscure, where kindred hands 
Have spread assassination's wily net. 
Yield me this brief repose, infernal Powers ! 
Ye, who, like loosen'd hounds, still scent the blo<3d. 
Which, trickling from my feet, betrays my path. 
Leave me ! ere long I come to you below. 
Nor you, nor I, should view the light of day. 
The soft green carpet of the beauteous earth 
Is no arena for unhallow'd fiends. 
Below I seek you, where an equal fate 
Binds all in murky, never-ending night. 
Thee only, thee, my Pylades, my friend, 
The guiltless partner of my crime and curse, 
Thee am I loath, before thy time, to take 
To yonder cheerless shore ! Thy life or deata 
Alone awakens in me hope or fear- 


Like thee, Orestes, I am not prepar'd 
Downwards to wander to yon realm of shade. 
I purpose still, through the entangl'd paths, 
Which seem as they would lead to blackest night, 
Af2:ain to guide our upward way to life. 
Of death I think not ; I observe and mark 
Whether the gods may not perchance present 
Means and fit moment for a joyful flight. 
Dreaded or not, the stroke of death must come ; 
And though the priestess stood with hand uprais'4^ 
Prepar'd to cut our consecrated locks, 
Our safety still should be my only thought : 
"Uplift thy soul above this w^eak despair ; 
Desponding doubts but hasten on our peril. 
Apollo pledg'd to us his sacred word, 
That in his sister's holy fane for thee 
Were comfort, aid, and glad return prepar'd. 
The words of Heaven are not equivocal, 
As in despair the poor oppress' d one thinks. 


The mystic web of life my mother spread 
Around my infant head, and so I grew. 
An image of my sire ; and my mute look 
Was aye a bitter and a keen reproof 
To her and base Egisthus. Oli^ how oft, 
When silently within our gloomy hall 
Electra sat, and mus'd beside the fire. 
Have I with anguish' d spirit climb' d her knee. 
And watch' d her bitter tears with sad amaze ! 
Then would she tell me of our noble sire : 
How much I long'd to see him — ^be ^vith him ! 
Myself at Troy one moment fondly wish'd. 
My sire's retm^n, the next. The day arrived— 


Oh, of that awful hour let fiends of heL 
Hold nightly converse ! Of a time more fair 
May the remembrance animate our hearts 
To fresh heroic deeds. The gods require 
On this wide earth the service of the good. 



Td work their pleasure. Still they count on theo : 
For in tliy father's train they sent thee not, 
When he to Orcus went unwilling down. 


Would I had seiz'd the border of his robe, 
And follow' d him I 


They kindly car'd for mo 
Who here detail 'd thee; for if thou hadst died 
I know not what had then become of me ; 
Since I with thee, and for thy sake alone, 
Have from my childhood liv'd, and wish to live. 


Do not remind me of those tranquil days. 
When me thy home a safe asylum gave ; 
With fond solicitude thy noble sire 
The half-nipp'd, tender flow'ret gently rear'd; 
While thou, a friend and playmate always gay. 
Like to a light and brilliant butterfly 
Around a dusky flower, didst around me 
Still with ne.' V life thy merry gambols play. 
And breathe thy joyous spirit in my soul. 
Until, my cares forgetting, I with thee 
Was lur'd to snatch the eager joys of youth. 


My very life began when thee I lov'd. 


Say, then thy woes began, and thou speak'st truly 
This is the sharpest sorrow of my lot. 
That, like a pkgue-iafected wretch, I bear 
."Death and destruction Md within my breast ; 
That, where I tread^ e'en on the healthiest spo^ 
Ere long the blooming faces round betray 
The writhing features of a ling'ring death, 


Were thy breath venom, I had been the first 
To die that death, Orestes. Am I not, 
&.S ever, full of courage and of joy ? 
^nd love and courage are the spirit's wing?^ 
Wafting to noble actions. 




Noble actions f 
Time was, when fancy painted such before ns! 
When oft, the game pursuing, on we roam'd 
O'er liill and valley; hoping that ere long 
With club and weapon arm'd, we so might track 
The robber to his den, or monster huge. 
And then at twilight, by the glassy sea, 
We peaceful sat, reclin'd against each other 
The waves came dancing to our very feet, 
And all before us lay the wide, wide world. 
Then on a sudden one would seize his sword. 
And future deeds shone round us like the stars, 
Which gemm'd in countless throngs the vault of niglit. 


Endless, my friend, the projects which the soul 

Burns to accomplish. We would every deed 

At once perform as grandly as it shows 

After long ages, when from land to land 

The poet's swelling song hath roll'd it on. 

It sounds so lovely what our fathers did. 

When, in the silent evening shade reclin'd. 

We drink it in with music's melting tones ; 

And what we do is, as their deeds to them. 

Toilsome and incomplete ! 

Thus we pursue what always flies before ; 

We disregard the path in which we tread, 

Scarce see around the footsteps of our sires, 

Or heed the trace of their career on earth. 

We ever hasten on to chase their shades. 

Which godlike, at a distance far remote. 

On golden clouds reclin'd, the mountains crown. 

The man I prize not who esteems himself 

Just as the people's breath may chance to raise liiin. 

But thou, Orestes, to the gods give thanks, 

That they have done so much through thee already. 


When they ordain a man to noble deeds, 
To shield from dire calamity his friends. 
Extend his empire, or protect its bounds. 
Or put to flight its ancient enemies. 


Let him be grateful ! For to him a god 

Imparts the first, the sweetest joy of life. 

Me have they doom'd to be a slaughterer, 

To be an honoured mother's murderer. 

And shamefully a deed of shame avenging. 

Me throi:gh their own decree they have o'erwheju'd 

Trust me, the race of Tantalus is doom'd; 

Nor may his last descendant leave the earth. 

Or crown' d with honour or imstain'd by crime. 


The gods avenge not on the son the deeds 
Done by the father. Each, or good or bad, 
Of his own actions reaps the due reward. 
The parents' blessing, not their curse, descends. 


Methinks their blessing did not lead us here. 


It was at least the mighty gods' decree. 


Then 25 it their decree which doth destroy us. 


Perform what they command, and wait the eveut. 

Do thou Apollo's sister boar from hence, 

That they at Delphi may united dwell, 

Rever'd and honour' d by a noble race : 

Thee, for this deed, the heav'nly pair will view 

With gracious eye, and from the hateful grasD 

Of the infernal Powers will rescue thee. 

E'en now none dares intrude within this grovQ. 


So shall I die at least a peaceful death. 


Far other are my thoughts, and not unskill'd 
Have I the future and the past combin'd 
In quiet meditation. Long, perchance, 
Hath ripen'd in the counsel of the gods 
The great event. Diana wish'd to leave 
This savage region foul with human blood? 
We were selected for the high emprize ; 
To us it is assign'd, and strangely thus 
We are conducted to the threshold here. 



My friend, with wondrous skill thou link'st thy wish 
With the predestin'd purpose of the gods. 


Of what avail is prudence, if it fail 

Heedful to mark the purposes of Heaven? 

A noble man, who much hath sinn"d, some god 

Doth summon to a dangerous enterprize, 

Which to achieve appears impossible. 

The hero conquers, and atoning serves 

Mortals and gods, who thenceforth honour him, 


Am I foredoom' d to action and to life. 
Would that a god from my distemper' d brain 
Might chase this dizzy fever, which impels 
My restless steps along a slipp'ry path, 
Stain'd with a mother's blood, to direful death; 
And pitying, dry the fountain, whence the blood. 
For ever spouting from a mother's wounds, 
Eternally defiles me I 


Wait in peace ! 
Thou dost increase the evil, and dost take 
The ofiice of the Furies on thyself. 
Let me contrive, — ^be still ! And when at lengtli 
The time for action claims our powers combined, 
Then will I summon thee, and on we'll stride, 
With cautious boldness to achieve the event. 


I hear Ulysses speak i 


Nay, mock rae nctr 
Each must select the hero after whom 
To climb the steep and difficult ascent 
Of high OlympuSc And to me it seems 
'JThat him nor stratagem nor art defile 
Who consecrates himself to noble deeds. 


I most esteem the brave and upright iiiasK 



And therefore have I not desir'd thy counsel. 
One step is ta'en already : from our guards 
I have extorted this intelligence. 
A strange and godlike woman now restrains 
The execution of that bloody law : 
Incense, and prayer, and an unsullied heart, 
These are the gifts she offers to the gods. 
Her fame is widely spread, and it is thought 
That from the race of Amazon she springs, 
And hithey fled some great calamity. 


Her gentle sway, it seems, lost all its power 

At the approach of one so criminal. 

Whom the dire curse enshrouds in gloomy mgr. 

Our doom to seal, the pious thirst for blood 

Again unchains the ancient cruel rite : 

The monarch's savage will decrees our deatb ; 

A woman cannot save when he condemns. 


That 'tis a woman is a ground for hope ! 
A man, the very best, with cruelty 
At length may so familiarize his mind, 
His character through custom so transform > 
That he shall come to make himself a law 
Of what at first his very soul abhorr'd. 
But woman doth retain the stamp of mind 
She first assum'd. On her we may depend 
In good or evil with more certainty. 
She come.s ; leave us alone. I dare not tell 
At once our names, nor unreserv'd confide 
Our fortunes to her. Now retire awhile, 
And ere she speaks with thee we'll meet again. 



SCENE 11. 


Wlie;:tee art thou ? Stranger, speak ! To me thy bearing 
Stamps thee of Grecian, not of Scythian race. 

{She unbinds his chains.) 
The freedom that I give is dangerous : 
The gods avert the doom that threatens you ! 


Delicious music ! dearly welcome tones 

Of our own language in a foreign land ! 

With joy my captive eye once more beholds 

The azure mountains of my native coast. 

Oh, let this joy that I too am a Greek 

Convince thee, priestess ! How I need thine aid, 

A moment I forget, my spirit wrapt 

In contemplation of so fair a vision. 

If fate's dread mandate doth not seal thy lips, 

Prom which of our illustrious races, say, 

Dost thou thy godlike origin derive? 


A priestess, by the Goddess' self ordain'd 
And consecrated too, doth speak with thee. 
Let that suffice : but tell me, who art thou. 
And what unbless'd o'erruling destiny 
Hath hither led thee with thy friend ? 


The woo. 

Whose hateful presence ever dogs our steps, 
I can with ease relate. Oh, would that thou 
Couldst with like ease, divine one, shed on us 
One ray of cheering hope ! We are from Creto, 
Adrastus' sons, and I, the youngest born, 
Named Cephalus ; my eldest brother, he, 
Laodamus. Between us two a youth 
Of savage temper grew, who oft disturb'd 
The joy and concord of our youthful sports. 
Long as our father led his powers at Troy, 



Passive our mother's mandate we obey'd ; 
But when, enrich'd with booty, he return'd, 
And shortly after died, a contest fierce 
For the succession and their father's wealth. 
Parted the brothers. I the eldest joined ; 
He slew the second ; and the Furies hence 
For kindred murder dog his restless steps. 
But to this savage shore the Delphian god 
Hath sent us, cheer' d by hope, commanding us 
Within his sister's temple to await 
The blessed hand of aid. We have been ta'cD, 
Brought hither, and now stand for sacrifice. 
My tale is told. 


Tell me, is Troy o'erthrown ? 

Assure me of its fall. 

py LADES. 

It lies in ruins. 

But oh, ensure deliverance to us ! 

Hasten, I pray, the promis'd aid of heav'n. 

Pity my brother, say a kindly word ; 

But I implore thee, spare him w^ien thou speakest. 

Too easily his inner mind is torn 

By joy, or grief, or cruel memoiy. 

A feverish madness oft doth seize on him., 

Yielding his spirit, beautiful and free, 

A prey to furies. 


Great as is thy woe, 
Forget it, I conjure thee, for a while, 
Till I am satisfied. 


The stately ^own^ 
Which ten long years withstood the Grecian hoGt, 
Now lies in ruins, ne'er to rise again ; 
Yet many a hero's grave will oft recall 
Our sad remembrance to that barbarous shore ; 
There lies Achilles and his noble friend. 


And are ye, godlike fomis, reduc'd to dust ! 

N 2 




Nor Palamede, nor Ajax, ere again 
The daylight of their native land behold. 


He speaks not of my father, doth not namo 
Him with the fallen. He may yet survive I 
I may behold him ! still hope on, my heart ! 


Yet happy are the thousands who receiv'd 

Their bitter death-blow from a hostile hand ! 

For terror wild, and end most tragical. 

Some hostile, angry, deity prepar'd. 

Instead of triumph, for the home-returning. 

Do human voices never reach this shore ? 

Far as their sound extends, they bear the fame 

Of deeds unparallel'd. And is the woe 

Which fills Mycene's halls with ceaseless sighs 

To thee a secret still ? — ^And know'st thou not 

That Clytemnestra, with JEgisthus' aid, 

Her royal consort artfully ensnar'd. 

And murder' d on the day of his return ? — 

The monarch's house thou honom'est ! I percei\'^} 

Thy heaving bosom vainly doth contend 

With tidings fraught with such unlook'd-for wou. 

Art thou the daughter of a friend ? or born 

Within the circuit of Mycene's walls ? 

Do not conceal it, nor avenge on me 

That here the horrid crime I first announc'd. 


Proceed, and tell me how the deed was done. 


The day of his return, as from the bath 
Arose the monarch, tranquil and refreshed. 
His robe demanding from his consort's hand» 
A tangl'd garment, complicate with folds, 
She o'er his shoulders flung and noble head; 
And when, as from a net, he vainly strove 
To extricate himself, the traitor, base 
JEgisthus, smote him, and envelop' d thus 
Great Agamemnon sought the shades belo7/, 



And what reward receiv'd the base aeoomplice? 


A queen and kingdom he possess' d already. 


Base passion prompted, then, the deed of shame ? 


And feelings, cherish' d long, of deep revenge. 


How had the monarch injured Clytemnestrat" 


By such a dreadful deed, that if on earth 
Aught could exculpate murder, it were this. 
To Aulis he allur'd her, when the fleet 
With unpropitious winds the goddess stay'd ; 
And there, a victim at Diana's shrine, 
The monarch, for the welfare of the Greeks, 
Her eldest daughter doom'd. And this, 'tis said, 
Planted such deep abhorrence in her heart, 
That to -^gisthus she resign' d herself, 
And round her husband flung the web of death. 

IPHIGENIA {veiling herself). 
It is enough ! Thou wilt again behold me. 

PYLADES, alone. 
The fortune of this royal house, it seems. 
Doth move her deeply. Whosoe'er she be, 
She must herself have known the monarch well ;— 
For our good fortune, from a noble house. 
She hath been sold to bondage. Peace, my heart ! 
And let us steer our course with prudent zeal 
Toward the star of hope which gleams upon uSe 



Unhappy man, I only loose thy bonds 

In token of a still severer doom. 

The freedom which the sanctuary iinpaitr. 



Like the last life-gleain o'er tlie dying face, 

But heralds death. I cannot, dare not say 

Your doom is hopeless ; for, with murd"rous hand. 

Could I inflict the fatal blow myself? 

And while I here am priestess of Diana, 

None, be he who he may, dare touch your heads. 

But the incensed king, should I refuse 

Compliance with the rites himself enjoin' d, 

Will choose another virgin from my train 

As my successor. Then, alas ! with nought, 

Save ardent wishes, can I succour you, 

Much honoured countryman ! The humblest slave. 

Who had but nea^-'d our sacred household hearth, 

Is dearly welcome in a foreign land ; 

How with proportion' d joy and blessing, then, 

Shall I receive the man who doth recall 

The image of the heroes, whom I leariv d 

To honour from my parents, and who cheers 

My inmost heart with flatt'ring gleams of hope I 


Does prudent forethought prompt thee to conceal 
Thy name and race ? or may I hope to know 
Who, like a heavenly vision, meets me thus? 


Yes, thou shalt know me. Now conclude the tale 
Of which thy brother only told me half : 
Eelate their end, w^ho coming home from Troy, 
On their own threshold met a doom severe 
And most unlock' d for. I, though but a child 
When first conducted hither, well recall 
The timid glance of wonder which I cast 
On those heroic forms. ^Vhen they went forth, 
It seem'd as though Olympus from her w^omb 
Had cast the heroes of a by-gone Avorld, 
To frighten Ilion; and, above them all. 
Great Agamemnon tower" d pre-eminent ! 
Oh tell me ! Fell the hero in his home. 
Through Clytemnestra's and -^gisthus' wiles? 


He feU ! 




Unblest Mycene ! Thus the sons 
Of Tantalus, with barbarous hands, have sown 
Curse upon ciu-se ; and, as the shaken weed 
Scatters around a thousand poison-seeds, 
So they assassins ceaseless generate, 
Their children's children ruthless to destroy. — 
Now tell the remnant of thy brother's tale. 
Which horror darkly hid from me before. 
How did the last descendant of the race, — 
The gentle child, to whom the Gods assigned 
The office of avenger, — how did he 
Escape that day of blood ? Did equal fate 
Around Orestes throw Avernus' net ? 
Say, was he saved ? and is he still alive ? 
And lives Electra, too ? 


They both sm'vive. 


Golden Apollo, lend thy choicest beams ! 
Lay them an offering at the throne of Jove ! 
Eor I am poor and dumb. 


If social bonds 
Or ties more close connect thee with this house^ 
As this thy joy evinces, rein thy heart; 
For insupportable the sudden plunge 
From happiness to sorrow's gloomy depth. 
As yet thou only know'st the hero's death. 


And is not this intelligence enough ? 


Half of the horror yet remains untoLl. 


Electra and Orestes both survive. 
What have I then to fear ? 


And fear'st thou noiight 

For Clytemnestra ? 



Her, nor hope nor fear 


She to the land of hope 


Did her repentant hand 


Not so ; yet her own blood 


Speak less ambiguously. 
Uncertainty around my anxious head 
Her dusky, thousand-folded, pinion waves. 


Have then the powers above selected me 

To be the herald of a dreadful deed, 

Which, in the arear and soundless realms of night, 

I fain would hide for ever ? 'Gainst my will 

Thy gentle voice constrains me ; it demands. 

And shall receive, a tale of direst woe. 

Electra, on the day when fell her sire, 

Her brother from impending doom conceal'd ; 

Him Strophius, his father's relative, 

With kindest care receiv'd, and rear'd the child 

With his own son, named Pylades, who soon 

Around the stranger twin'd the bonds of love. 

And as they grew, within their inmost souls 

There sprang the burning longing to revenge 

The monarch's death. Unlook'd for, and disguis'dg 

They reach Mycene, feigning to have brought 

The mournful tidings of Orestes' death. 

Together with his ashes. Them the queen 

Gladly receives. Within the house they enter ; 

Drestes to Electra shows himself : 

She fans the fires of vengeance into flame, 

tVhich in the sacred presence of a mother 

Had burn'd more dimly. Silently she leads 

Her brother to the spot wiierc feU their sire ; 

Have power to save. 
Hath bid farewell. 
■ Shed her own blood? 
Inflicted death. 



Where Imid blood-marks, on the oft-wash'd floor. 
With pallid streaks, anticipate revenge. 
With fiery eloquence she pictures forth 
Each circumstance of that atrocious deed,— 
Her own oppress' d and miserable life, 
The prosperous traitor's insolent demeanour, 
The perils threat' ning Agamemnon's race 
From her who had become their stepmother ; 
Then in his hand the ancient dagger thrusts, 
Which often in the house of Tantalus 
With savage fury rag'd, — and by her son 
Is Clytemnestra slain. 


Immortal powers ! 
Whose pm-e and blest existence glides away 
'Mid ever shifting clouds, me have ye kept 
So many years secluded from the world. 
Retain' d me near yourselves, consigned to me 
The childlike task to feed the sacred fire. 
And taught my spirit, like the hallow' d flame, 
With never- clouded brightness to aspire 
To your pure mansions, — but at length to feel 
With keener woe the misery of my house ? 
Oh tell me of the poor unfortunate ! 
Speak of Orestes ! 


Would that he were dead! 
Forth from his mother's blood her ghost arose, 
And to the ancient daughters of the night 
Cries, — " Let him not escape, — the matricide ! 
Pursue the victim, dedicate to you !" 
They hear, and glare around with hollow eyes, 
Like greedy eagles. In their murky dens 
They stir themselves, and from the corners creep 
Their conu'ades, dire Remorse and pallid Fear; 
Before them fumes a mist of Acheron ; 
Perplexingly around the murderer's brow 
The eternal contemplation of the past 
Rolls in its cloudy circles. Once again 
The grisly band, commission'd to destroy, ' 
Pollute earth's beautiful and heaven-sown fields. 



From whicli an ancient curse had banisli'd the:'ii« 
Their rapid feet the fugitive pursue ; 
They only pause to start a wilder fear. 


Unhappy one : thy lot resembles his, 

Thou feel'st what he, poor fugitive, must suffer. 


"^^Tiat say'st thou? why presume my fate like his? 


A brother's murder w^eighs upon thy soul; 
Thy younger brother told the mournful tale. 


I cannot suffer that thy noble soul 

Should be deceiv'd by error. Rich in guilty 

And practis'd in deceit, a stranger may 

A w^eb of falsehood cunningly devise 

To snare a stranger ; — between us be truth. 

I am Orestes ! and this guilty head 

Is stooping to the tomb, and covets death ; 

It will be welcome now in any shape. 

Whoe'er thou art, for thee and for my friend 

I wish deliverance; — I desire it not. 

Thou seem'st to linger here against thy will ; 

Contrive some means of flight, and leave me here : 

My lifeless corpse hurl'd headlong from the rock, 

My blood shall mingle with the dashing waves. 

And bring a curse upon this barbarous shore ! 

Keturn together home to lovely Greece, 

With joy a new existence to commence. 

[Orestes retires^ 


At length Fidfxlment, fairest child of J ove, 
Thou dost descend upon me from on high ! 
How vast thine image ! scarce my straining eye 
Can reach thy hands, which, fiU'd with golden fruit 
And wreaths of blessing, from Olympus' height 
Shower treasures down. As by his bounteous gifts 
We recognize the monarch (for what seems 
To thousands opulence is nought to him), 

you, ye heavenly Powers, are also known 
By bounty long withheld, and wisely plann'd. 


Ye only know what things are good for us ; 

Ye view the future's wide-extended realm ; 

While from our eye a dim or starry, veil 

The prospect shrouds. Calmly ye hear our prayero. 

When we like children sue for greater speed. 

Not imsnature ye pluck heaven's golden fruit : 

And woe to him, who with impatient hand, 

His date of joy forestalling, gathers death. 

Let not this long-awaited happiness. 

Which yet my heart hath scarcely realiz'd, 

Like to the shadow of departed friends, 

Glide vainly by with triple sorrow fraught ! 

ORESTES, returning. 
Dost thou for Pylades and for thyself 
Implore the gods, blend not my name with yours ; 
Thou wilt not save the wretch whom thou woiddst 
But wilt participate his curse and woe. 


l\Iy destiny is firmly bound to thine. 


No, say not so ; alone and unattended 

Let me descend to Hades. Though thou shouldst 

In thine owm veil enwrap the guilty one. 

Thou coiddst not shroud him from his wakeful foes ; 

And e'en thy sacred presence, heavenly maid, 

Drives them aside, but scares them not away. 

With brazen impious feet they dare not tread 

Within the precincts of this sacred grove : 

Yet in the distance, ever and anon, 

I hear their horrid laughter, like the howl 

Of famish' d wolves, beneath the tree wherein 

The traveller hides. Without, encamp'd they X\k\ 

And should I quit this consecrated grove. 

Shaking their serpent locks, they would arise, 

And, raising clouds of dust on every side, 

Ceaseless pursue their miserable prey. 


Orestes, canst thou hear a friendly word ? 


Reserve it for one favour' d by the gods. 




To thee they give anew the light of hope. 


Through clouds and smoke I see the feeble gleam 
Of the death-stream which lights me down to hell. 


Hast thou one sister only, thy Electra ? 


1 knew but one : yet her kind destiny, 

Which seem'd to us so terrible, betimes 

Hemoved an elder sister from the woe 

That dogs the race of Pelops. Cease, oh cease 

Thy questions, maiden, nor thus league thyself 

"With the Eumenides, who blow away. 

With fiendish joy, the ashes from my soul, 

Lest the last spark of horror's fiery brand 

Should be extinguish'd there. Must then the iire 

Deliberately kindl'd and supplied 

With hellish sulphur, never cease to sear 

My tortur'd bosom ? 


In the flame I thro^^*' 
Sweet incense. Let the gentle breath of love. 
Low murmuring, cool thy bosom's fiery glow. 
Orestes, fondly lov'd, — canst thou not hear me ? 
Hath the terrific Furies' grisly band 
Completely dried the lifeblood in thy veins ? 
Creeps there, as from the Gorgon's direful head, 
A petrifying charm through all thy limbs r 
If hollow voices, from a mother's blood. 
Call thee to hell, may not a sister's word 
With benediction pure ascend to heaven, 
And summon thence some gracious power to aid t 


She calls ! she calls ! — ^Thou too desirs't my death 
Is there a fury shrouded in thy form ? 
Who art thou, that thy voice thus horribly 
Can harrow up my bosom's inmost depths ? 


Thine inmost heart reveals it. I am she,— 
Iphigenia, — look on me, Orestes ! 





My omi brother ! 


Hence, away, begon< 
louch not these locks, I counsel thee; from me, 
As from Creusa's bridal robe, proceeds 
An unextinguishable fire. Depart ! 
Like Hercules, an ignominious death. 
Unworthy wretch, lock'd in myself, I'll die. 


Thou shalt not perish ! Would that I might he<>' 
One quiet word from thee ! dispel my doubts, 
Make sure the bliss I have implor'd so loiig. 
A wheel of joy and sorrow in my heart 
Ceaseless revolves. With shy reserve I turn 
From one unknown ; but unto thee, my brother, 
My inmost heart resistlessly impels me. 


Is this Lyseus' temple ? Doth the glow 
Of holy rage unbridl'd thus possess 
The sacred priestess ? 


Hea*r me, oh, look up 
See how my heart, v/hich hath been clos'd so loi-j 
Doth open to the bliss of seeing thee. 
The dearest treasure that the world contains, — 
Of falling on thy neck, and folding thee 
Within my longing arms, which have till now 
Met the embraces of the empty wind. 
Do not repulse me, — the eternal spring. 
Whose crystal waters from Parnassus flow, 
Bounds not more gaily on from rock to rock, 
Do^^Ti to the golden vale, thaa from my heart 
The waters of affection freely gush, 
And round me form a circling sea of hlks. 
Orestes ! Oh, my brother ! 


Lovely njnmph ! 
Nor thy caresses, nor thyself I trust ; 



Diana claims attendants more severe, 
And doth avenge her desecrated fane. 
Remove thy circHng arm ! and if thou vdlt 
Safety and love upon a youth bestow, 
Unto my friend, more worthy than myself, 
Impart thy gifts ; among yon rocks he roves ; 
Go seek him, guide him hence, and heed not ni9» 


Brother, command thyself, and better know 
Thy new-found sister, nor misconstrue thus 
Her pure and heav'nly joy. Ye Gods, remove 
From his fix'd eye delusion, lest this hour 
Of highest bliss should make us trebly wretched ! 
Oh she is here, thine own, thy long-lost sister. 
Whom great Diana from the altar snatch' d. 
And safely plac'd here in her sacred fane. 
A captive thou, prepar'd for sacrifice, 
And findest here a sister in the priestess. 


Accursed race ! Xow may the sun behold 
Your final doom. Is not Electra here ? 
That she with us may perish, nor her life 
For heavier doom and deeper woe reserve. 
'Tis well, — I follow, priestess ! Fratricide 
Is an old custom of our ancient house ; 
And you, ye Gods, I thank, that ye resolve 
Childless to root me hence. Thee let me eounse,* 
To view too fondly neither sun nor stars. 
Come follow to the gloomy realms below ! 
As dragons, gender'd in the sulphur pool. 
Swallow each other with voracious rage. 
So our accurs'd race destroys itself. 
Childless and guiltless come below with me ! 
There's pity in thy look ! oh, gaze not so, — 
'Twas with such looks that Clytemnestra soujjlit 
An entrance to her son Orestes' heart. 
And yet his uprais'd arm her bosom pierc'd. 
His mother fell ! — Appear, indignant shade ! 
Within the circle step, ye fiends of hell, 
Be present at the welcome spectacle. 
The last, most horrible, that ye prepare ' 



Nor hate, nor vengeance, whets the poignard now, 

A sister is constrain' d to deal the blow. 

Weep not ! Thy guiltless soul is free from crime. 

From earliest infancy I nought have lov'd, 

As thee I could have lov'd, my sister. Come, 

The weapon raise, spare not, this bosom rend. 

And make an outlet for its boiling streams ! 

i^He sinks exhausted.) 


Alone I cannot bear this bliss and woe. 
"Where art thou, Pylades r Thine aid I need. 

{Iphigenia retires,) 



Recovering from his sivoon and standing up. 

Give yet another ! reach from Lethe's stream 

The last reviving draught of cool refreshment » 

Soon shall its waters in my bosom still 

Life's fitful fever ; and my spirit then 

Adown oblivion's stream shall glide to you, 

Ye spirits, shrouded in eternal mist. 

With tranquil pleasure in your deep repose 

A weary son of earth may lave his soul ! — 

What whisp'ring sounds pervade the dreary grove ? 

What hollow murmurs haunt its twilight gloom ? — 

They gather round to view the stranger guest ! 

Who are yon troop in high communion met, 

Like an assembl'd family of princes ? 

They mingle peacefully, of every age, 

And either sex, yet are their godlike forms 

Cast in a kindred mould. 'Tis they, 'tis they. 

The fathers of my race ! With Atreus, 

In friendly converse glides Thyestes' shade. 

And children playfully around them sport. 

Is there no enmity among you now ? 

And is revenge extinguish' d with the sun ? 

I then am welcome, and may hope to join 

Your solemn company. My fathers, hail ! 

Orestes, last descendant of your race. 

Salutes you. What ye sow'd, that hath he reap''! ♦ 



Laden with curses he descends to you. 

But burdens here are Hghter far to bear. 

Receive him, oh, receive him in your circle ! 

Thee, Atreus, I revere, and thee, Thyestes : 

Here all are free fr'om enmity and hate. — 

Show me my father, whom I only once 

In life beheld. — Art thou my father, thou, 

My mother leading thus familiarly ? 

Dares Clytemnestra reach her hand to thee ; 

Then may Orestes also draw near her. 

And say, behold thy son ! — My ancestors, 

Behold your son, and bid him welcome hero. 

Among the sons of ancient Tantalus, 

A kind salute on earth was murder's watchword. 

And all their joys commence beyond the grave. 

Ye welcome me ! Ye bid me join your circle ! 

Oh, lead me to my honour' d ancestor ! 

Where is the aged hero ? that I may 

Behold the dear, the venerable head, 

Of him, who with the gods in council sat. 

You seem to shudder and to turn away ? 

What may this mean ? Sujffers the godlike man 

Alas! the mighty gods, with ruthless hate. 

To his heroic breast, with brazen chains, 

Have cruel pangs indissolubly bound. 

SCENE in. 



How ! are ye come already ? Sister, welcome. 
Electra still is missing ; some kind god 
With gentle arrow send her quickly hither. 
Thee, my poor friend, I must compassionate ! 
Come with me, come to Pluto's gloomy throve. 
There to salute our hosts like stranger guests. 


Celestial pair, who from the realms above 
By night and day shed down the beauteous ligh: 
To cheer mankind, but who may not illume 
Departed spirits, save a mortal pair ! 


K brother S and a sister's anguish pity ! 

B'or thou, Diana, lov'st thy gentle brother 

Beyond what earth and heaven can offer thee ; 

And dost, with quiet yearning, ever turn 

Thy virgin face to his eternal light. 

Let not my only brother, found so late, 

liave in the darkness of insanity ! 

And is thy will, when thou didst here conceal me, 

At length fulfill'd, — would' st thou to me through him* 

To him through me, thy gracious aid extend, — 

Oh, free him from the fetters of this curse, 

Lest vainly pass the precious hours of safety. 


Dost thou not know us, and this sacred grove. 
And this blest light, which shines not on the dead ^ 
Dost thou not feel thy sister and thy friend, 
Who hold thee living in their firm embrace ? 
Grasp us ! we are not shadows. Mark my words ! 
Collect thyself, — each moment now is precious. 
And our return hangs on a slender thread. 
Which, as it seems, some gracious fate doth spin. 


My sister, let me for the first time taste, 

With open heart, pure joy within thine arms ! 

Ye gods, who charge the heavy clouds with dread, 

And sternly gracious send the long-sought rain 

With thunder and the rush of mighty winds, 

A horrid deluge on the trembling earth ; 

Yet dissipate at length man's dread suspense, 

Exchanging timid wonder's anxious gaze 

For grateful looks and joyous songs of praise, 

When in each sparkling drop which gems the leaver^ 

Apollo, thousand-fold, reflects his beam, 

And Iris colours with a magic hand 

The dusky texture of the parting clouds ; 

Oh, let me also in my sister's arms, 

And on the bosom of my friend, enjoy 

With grateful thanks the bliss ye now bestow 

My heart assures me that your curses cease. 

The dread Eumenides at length retire, 

The brazen gates of Tartarus I hear 



Behind llieni closing with a thund'rijig cIudl:. 
A quick'ning odoiu' from the earth ascends, 
Inviting me to chase, npon its plains, 
The joys of life and deeds of high emprise. 


Lose not the moments which are limited ! 

The favouring gale, which swells our partinp! saiii 

Must to Olympus waft our perfect joy. 

Quick counsel and resolve the time demands, 



\Yhen the Powers on high decree 

For a feeble child of earth 

Dire perplexity and woe, 

And his spirit doom to pass 

With tumult wdld from joy to grief, 

And back again from grief to joy, 

In fearful alternation ; 

They in mercy then provide, 

In the precincts of his home. 

Or upon the distant shore, 

That to him may never fail 

Heady help in hours of need, 

A tranquil, faithful friend. 

Oh, bless, ye heavenly j^owers, our Pyiadets 

And ever}^ project that his mind may forni I 

In combat his the vigorous arm. of youth, 

And in the counsel his the eye of age. 

Ilis soul is tranquil ; in his inner mind 

He guards a sacred, undisturb'd repose, 

And from its silent depths a rich supply 

Df aid and counsel draws for the distress'd. 

He tore me from my brother, upon whom. 

With fond amaze, I gaz'd and gaz'd again ^ 

I could not i-ealize my happiness, 

Nor loose him from my arms, and heeded not 

The danger's near approach that threatens us. 

To execute their project of escape. 


They hasten to the sea, where in a bay 

Their comrades in the vessel lie conceard 

And wait a signal. Me they have supplied 

With artful answers, should the monarch send 

To urge the sacrifice. Alas ! I see 

I must consent to follow like a child. 

I have not learn' d deception, nor the ai:t 

To gain with crafty wiles my purposes. 

Detested falsehood ! it doth not relieve 

The breast like words of truth : it comforts not. 

But is a torment in the forger's heart. 

And, like an arrow which a god directs. 

Flies back and wounds the archer. Through my hear 

One fear doth chase another ; perhaps with rage. 

Again on the unconsecrated shore, 

The Furies' grisly band my brother seize. 

Perchance they are surpris'd ? Me thinks I hear 

The tread of armed men. A messenger 

Ig coming from the king, with hasty steps. 

How throbs my heart, how troubl'd is my soul. 

Now that I see the countenance of one. 

Whom with a word untrue I must encounter ! 



Priestess, with speed conclude the sacrifice ! 
Impatiently the king and people wait. 


I had perform' d my duty and thy will, 
Had not an unforeseen impediment 
The execution of ray pua-pose thwarted. 


What is it that obstructs the king's commands r 


Chance- ^^hich from mortals will not brook control 


Possess me with the reason, that with speed 
I may inform the king, who hath decreed 
The death of both. 





The gods have not decreed it^ 
The elder of these men doth bear the guUt 
Of kindred murder ; on his steps attend 
The dread Eumenides. They seiz'd their prey 
Within the inner fane, polluting thus 
The holy sanctuary. .1 hasten now, 
Together with my virgin-train, to bathe 
Diana's image in the sea, and there 
With solemn rites its purity restore. 
Let none presume our silent march to follow ! 


This hindrance to the monarch I'll announce : 
Do not commence the rite till he permit. 


The priestess interferes alone in this. 


An incident so strange the king should know. 


Here, nor his counsel nor command avails. 


Oft are the great consulted out of form. 


Do not insist on what I must refuse. 


A needful and a just demand refuse not. 


I yield, if thou delay not. 


I with speed 
Will bear these tidings to the camp, and soon 
Acquaint thee, priestess, with the king's reply. 
There is a message I would gladly bear him ; 
'Twould quickly banish all perplexity : 
Thou didst not heed thy faithful friend's adviC€» 


I willingly have done whate'er I could. 


Fi'en novr 'tis not too late to change thy miud# 


To do fio is, alas, beyond our power 



What thou wouldst shun, thou deem'st impossible. 


Thy wish doth make thee deem it possible. 


Wilt thou so calmly venture everything ? 


My fate I have committed to the gods. 


The gods are wont to save by human means. 


By their appointment everything is done. 


Believe me, all doth now depend on thee. 

The irritated temper of the king 

Alone condemns these men to bitter death. 

The soldiers from the cruel sacrifice 

And bloody service long have been disused ; 

Nay, many, whom their adverse fortunes cast 

In foreign regions, there themselves have felt 

How godlike to the exil'd wanderer 

The friendly countenance of man appears , 

Do not deprive us of thy gentle aid ! 

With ease thou canst thy sacred task fulfil : 

For nowhere doth benignity, which comes 

In human form from heaven, so quickly gain 

An empire o'er the heart, as where a ]*ace . 

Oloomy and savage, fuU of life and power. 

Without external guidance, and oppress'd 

With vague forebodings, bear life's hea^^" loac^ 


Shake not my spirit, which thou canst not bend 
According to thy will. 


While there is tnae. 
Nor labour nor persuasion shall be spar'd. 


Thy labour but occasions pain to me ; 
Both are in vain ; therefore, I pray, depart. 



I summon pain to aid me, 'tis a fiienil 
^Vho counsels wisely. 


Thougli it s] lakes my s:)'ji, 
It doth not banish thence my strong repugnance, 


Can then a gentle soul repugnance feel 
For benefits bestow' d by one so noble ? 


Yes, when the donor, for those benefits, 
Instead of gratitude, demands myself. . 


Who no affection feels doth never want 
Excuses. To the king I'll now relate 
All that has happen' d. Oh, that in thy soul 
Thou wouldst revolve his noble conduct, priestess. 
Since thy arrival to the present day ! 


IPHIGENIA, alone. 
Tliese words at an unseasonable hour 
Produce a strong revulsion in my breast ; 
I am alarm'd ! — For as the rushing tide 
In rapid currents eddies o'er the rocks 
Which lie among the sand upon the shore ; 
E'en so a stream of joy o'er whelm' d my soul. 
I grasp'd what had appear' d impossible. 
It was as though another gentle cloud 
Around me lay, to raise me from the earth, 
And rock my spirit in the same sweet sleep 
Which the kind goddess shed around my brow. 
What time her circling arm from danger snatch' d iVB. 
My brother forcibly engross' d my heart; 
I listen' d only to his friend's advice ; 
My soul rush'd eagerly to rescue them, 
And as the mariner with joy surveys 
The less'ning breakers of a desert isle, 
So Tauris lay behind me. But the voice 
Of faithful Arkas wakes me from my di-caui , 


lleminding mc that those whom I forsake 
Are also men. Deceit doth now become 
Doubly detested. my soul, be still ! 
Beginn'st thou now to tremble and to doubt } 
Thy lonely shelter on the lirm-set earth 
Must thou abandon ? and, embark'd once morCy 
At random drift upon tumultuous waves, 
A stranger to thyself and to the world ? 



Where is she f that my words with speed may telL 
The joyful tidings of our near escape ! 


Oppress'd with gloomy care, I much require 
The certain comfort thou dost promise me. 


Thy brother is res tor *d ! The rocky paths 
Of this rmconsecrated sliore we trod 
In friendly converse, while behind us lay, 
Unmark'd by us, the consecrated grove ; 
And ever with increasing glory shone 
The fire of youth around his noble brow. 
Courage and hope his glowing e^ o inspired; 
And his free heart exulted with the joy 
Of saving thee, his sister, and his friend. 


The gods shower blessings on thee, Pylades ! 

And from those lips which breathe such welcome newG, 

"Be the sad note of anguish never heard! 


i bring yet more, — for Fortune, like a prince, 
Comes not alone, but well accompanied. 
Our friends and comrades we have also found. 
Within a bay they had conceal" d tlie ship. 
And mournful sat expectant. They beheld 
Thy brother, and a joyous shout uprais"d, 
Imploring him to haste the parting hour. 
Each hand im^^atient long'd to grasp the oar. 



\Miile from tlie shore a gently murmurinp: bree:;^, 
Pereeiv'd by all, unfurrd its wing auspicious. 
Let us then hasten ; guide me to the fane, 
'That I may tread the sanctuary, and seize 
With sacred awe the object of oiu: hopes. 
I can imaided on my shoulder bear 
Diana's image: how I long to feel 
The precious burden I 

[ While spedhing the last words, he approaches the Temple^ 

without perceiving that he is not followed hy Iphi* 

genia: at length he turns round.'] 

Why thus ling'ring stand? 
Why art thou silent? wherefore thus confus'd? 
Doth some new obstacle oppose our bliss? 
Inform me, hast thou to the king announc'd 
The prudent message we agreed upon? 


I have, dear Pylades ; yet wilt thou chide. 
Thy very aspect is a mute reproach. 
The royal messenger arriv'd, and I, 
According to thy counsel, fram'd my speech. 
He seem'd surprised, and urgently besought, 
That to the monarch I should first announce 
The rite unusual, and attend his will. 
I now await the messenger's return. 


Danger again doth hover o'er our heads! 

priestess, why neglect to shroud thyself 
Within the veil of sacerdotal rites? 


1 never have employed them as a veil. 


Pure soul! thy scruples will destroy alike 
Thyself and us. Why did I not foresee 
Such an emergency, and tutor thee 
This counsel also wisely to elude? 


Chide only me, for mine alone the blamc- 
Yet other answer could I not return 
To him, who strongly and with reason urgM 
What my own heart acknowlcdg'd to be rigl't. 




The danger thickens ; but let us be firm, 
Nor with incautious haste betray ourselvee; 
Calmly await the messenger's return, 
And then stand fast, whatever his reply : 
For the appointment of such sacred rites 
Doth to the priestess, not the king belong. 
Should he demand the stranger to behold, 
Who is by madness heavily oppress' d, 
Evasively pretend, that in the fane, 
Securely guarded, thou retain' st us both. 
Thus you secure us time to fly with speed, 
Bearing the sacred treasure from this race, 
Unworthy its possession. Phoebus sends 
Auspicious omens, and fulfils his word, 
Ere we the first conditions have perform'd. 
Free is Orestes, from the curse absolv'd! 
Oh, with the freed one, to the rocky isle 
Where dwells the god, waft us, propitious gales . 
Thence to Mycene, that she may revive ; 
That from the ashes of the extinguish* d hearth, 
The household gods may joyously arise. 
And beauteous fire illumine their abode ! 
Thy hand from golden censers first shall strew 
The fragrant incense. O'er that threshold thou 
Shalt life and blessing once again dispense. 
The curse atone, and all thy kindred grace 
With the fresh bloom of renovated life. 


As doth the flower revolve to meet the sun. 

Once more my spirit to sweet comfort turns. 

Struck by thy words' invigorating ray. 

How dear the counsel of a present friend. 

Lacking whose godlike power, the lonely one 

In silence droops! for, lock'd within his breast. 

Slowly are ripen' d purpose and resolve. 

Which friendship's genial warmth had soon niatur'J. 


Farewell ! I haste to re-assure our friends. 
Who anxiously await us : then with speed 
I will return, and, hid within the brake. 


Attend thy signal. — Wherefore, all at once, 
Doth anxious thought overcloud thy brow sereuc f 


Forgive me ! As light clouds athwart the sun.. 
So cares and fears float darkling o'er my soul. 


Oh, banish fear! With danger it hath form'd 
A close alliance, — they are constant friends. 


It is an honest sciuple, which forbids 
That I should cunningly deceive the king, 
And plunder him who was my second sire. 


Him thou dost fly, who would have slain thy brother* 


To me, at least, he hath been ever kind. 


What Fate commands is not ingratitude. 


Alas ! it still remains ingratitude ; 
Necessity alone can justify it. 


Thee, before gods and men it justifies. 


But my ov/n heart is still unsatisfied. 


Scruples too rigid are a cloak for pride, 

I cannot argue, 1 can only feel. 


Conscious of right, thou shouldst respect thyself 


Then only doth the heart know perfect ease, 
When not a stain pollutes it. 


In this fane 
Pure hast thou kept thy heart. Life teaches 
To be less strict with others and ourselves : 
Thou'lt learn the lesson too. So wonderful 
Is human nature, and its varied ties 
Arc so involv'd and complicate, that none 


May hope to keep his inmost spirit pure, 

And walk without perplexity through lii*;. 

Nor are we call'd upon to judge ourselves ; 

With circumspection to pursue his path, 

Is the immediate duty of a man. 

For seldom can he rightly estimate, 

Or his past conduct or his present deeds. 


Almost thou dost persuade me to consent. 


Needs there persuasion when no choice is grartocl? 
To save thyself, thy brother, and a friend. 
One path presents itself, and canst thou ask 
If we shall follow it ? 


Still let me pause. 
For such injustice thou couldst not thyself 
Calmly return for benefits received. 


If we should perish, bitter self-reproach. 
Forerunner of despair, will be thy portion. 
It seems thou art not used to suffer much, 
When, to escape so great calamity. 
Thou canst refuse to utter one false word. 


Oh, that I bore within a manly heart ! 
Which, when it hath conceiv"d a bold resolve, 
'Gainst every other voice doth close itself. 


In vain thou dost refuse ; with iron hand 

Necessity commands ; her stern decree 

Is law supreme, to which the gods themselves 

Must yield submission. In dread silence rules 

The uncounsell'd sister of eternal fate. 

What she appoints thee to endure, — endure ; 

What to perform, — perform. The rest thou know'st* 

Ere long I will return, and then receive 

Tlie seal of safety from thy sacred hand. 




IPHIGENIA, alonti. 

1 must obey him, for I see my friends 

Beset with peril. Yet my own sad fate 

Doth with increasing anguish move my heart 

May I no longer feed the silent hope 

Which in my solitude I fondly cherished ? 

Shall the dire curse eternally endure ? 

And shall our fated race ne'er rise again 

With blessings crown'd? — All mortal things decay I 

The noblest powers, the purest joys of life 

At length subside : then wherefore not the curse ? 

And have I vainly hop'd that, guarded here, 

Secluded from the fortunes of my race, 

I, with pure heart and hands, some future day 

Might cleanse the deep defilement of om* house ? 

Scarce was my brother in my circling arms 

From raging madness suddenly restored, 

Scarce had the ship, long pray'd for, near'd the strand. 

Once more to waft me to my native shores, 

When unrelenting fate, with iron hand, 

A double crime enjoins ; commanding me 

To steal the image, sacred and rever'd, 

Confided to my care, and him deceive 

To whom I owe my life and destiny. 

Let not abhorrence spring within my heart I 

Nor the old Titan's hate, toward you, ye gods 

Infix its vulture talons in my breast ! 

Save me, and save your image in my soul ! 

An ancient song comes back upon mine ear — 

I had forgotten it, and willingly — 

The Parca>*s song, which horribly they sang, 

What time, hmi'd headlong from liis golden seat, 

Fell Tantalus. They with their noble friend 

Keen anguish suffer' d ; savage was their breast 

And horrible their song. In days gone by, 

When we were children, oft our ancient nurse 

Would sing it to us, and 1 mark'd it well. 



yh, fear the immortals, 

le cliildren of men ! 

Eternal dominion 

rhey hold in their hands. 

And o'er their wide empiie 

Wield absolute sway. 

Whom they have exalted 

I^et him fear them most I 

Around golden tables, 

On cliffs and clouds resting 

The seats are prepar'd. 

If contest ariseth ; 

The guests are hurl'd headlor.j^, 

Disgrac'd and dishonour' d, 

And fetter' d in darkness. 

Await with vain longing, 

A juster decree. 

But in feasts everlasting, 

Around the gold tables 

Still dwell the immortals. 

From mountain to mountain 

They stride ; while ascending 

From fathomless chasms, 

The breath of the Titans, 

Half stifl'd with anguish, 

Like volumes of incense 

Fumes up to the skies. 

From races ill-fated, 

Their aspect joy-bringing. 

Oft turn the celestials, 

And shun in the children 

To gaze on the features 

Once lov'd and still speaking 

Of their mighty sire. 

Thus sternly the Fates sang^ 

Immur d in his dungeon. 

The banish' d one listens, 

The song of the Parcae, 

His children's doom pcndeys, 

And boweth his head. 





I OAN'ii I am perpicx'd, and scarcely know 

'Gainst whom to point the shaft of my suspiciaa, 

Whethe?- the priestess aids the captives" flight. 

Or they themselves clandestinely contrive it. 

*Tis rumomr'd that the ship which brought them here 

Is Im'king somewhere in a bay conceal'd. 

This stranger's madness, these new liistral rites. 

The specious pretext for delay, excite 

Mistrust, and call aloud for vigilance. 


Summon the priestess to attend mc here ! 

Then go with speed, and strictly search the shore. 

From yon projecting land to Dian's grove : 

Forbear to violate its sacred depths ; 

A watchful ambush set, attack and seize, 

According to yom- wont, wliome'er ye find. 

\^ArI<as retiree, 


TiioAS, alone. 
Fierce anger rages in my riven breast, 
First against her, whom I esteemed so pure ; 
Then 'gainst myself, whose foolish lenity 
Hath fashioned her for treason. Man is soon 
Inur'd to slavery, and quickly learns 
Submission, when of freedom quite depriv'ci. 
If she hai fallen in the savage hands 
Of my rude sires, and had their holy rage 
Forborne to slay her, grateful for her life, 
She would have recogniz'd her destiny, 
Have shed before the shrine the stranger's blov)d, 
And duty nam"d what was necessity. 
Now my forbeara ice in her breast allure:; 
A idacious wishes Vainly I had hop'd 


To bind her to mo ; rather she contrivea 

To shape an independent destiny. 

She won my heart through flattery ; and_ now 

That I oppose her, seeks to gain her ends 

By fraud and canning, and my kindness deems 

A worthless and prescriptive property. 



Me hast thou summon'd? wherefore art thou hero? 


Wherefore delay the sacridce ? inform me. 


I have acquainted Arkas with the reasons. 


From thee I wish to hear them more at largo. 

The goddess for reflection grants thee time. 


To thee this time seems also opportune. 


If to this cruel deed thy heart is steel' d, 
Thou shouldst not come ! A king who meditates- 
A deed inhuman, may And slaves enow, 
Willing for hire to bear one half the curse. 
And leave the monarch's presence undefird. in gloomy clouds he forges death, 
Whose flaming arrow on his victim's head 
His hirelings hurl ; while he above the storm 
Ilemains untroubl'd, an impassive god. 


A wild song, priestess, issued from thy lips. 


No priestess, king! but Agamemnon's daughter, 
W^hile yet unknown, thou didst respect my words : 
A princess now, — and think'st thou to command i 
From youth I have been tutor' d to obey. 
My parents first and then the deity ; 


And thus obeying, ever hath my soul 
Known sweetest freedom. But nor then nor now 
Have I been taught compliance with the voice 
And savage mandates of a man. 



An ancient law doth claim obedience from thee 


Our passions eagerly catch hold of laws 
Which they can wield as weapons. But to me 
Another law, one far more ancient, speaks, 
And doth command me to withstand thee, king ! 
That law declaring sacred every stranger. 


These men, methinks, lie very near thy heart. 
When sympathy with them can lead thee thus 
To violate discretion's j^rimal law. 
That those in power should never be provok d. 


Speaking or silent, thou canst always know 

What is, and ever must be, in my heart. 

Doth not remembrance of a common doom, 

To soft compassion melt the hardest heart ? 

How much more mine ! in them I see myself. 

I trembling kneel'd before the altar once. 

And solemnly the shade of early death 

Enviiron'd me. Aloft the knife was rais'd 

To pierce my bosom, throbbing with v/arm life ; 

A dizz}^ horror overwhelmed my soul ; 

My eyes grew dim ; — I found myself in safety. 

Are v>^e not bound to render the distress' d 

The gracious kindness from the gods receiv'd ? 

Thou know' St we are, and yet wilt thou compel jx-.oi 


Obey thine office, priestess, not the king. 


Cease ! nor thus seek to cloak the savage force 
Which triumphs o'er a woman's feebleness. 
Though woman, I am born as free as man. 
Did Agamemnon's son before thee stand. 
And thou requiredst what became him not, 



His arm and trusty weapon would defend 
His bosom's freedom. I have only words ; 
But it becomes a noble-minded man 
To treat with due respect the words of woman. 


I more respect them than a brother's sword. 


Uncertain ever is the chance of arms, 

No prudent warrior doth despise his foe ; 

Nor yet defenceless 'gainst severity 

Hath nature left the weak ; she gives him craft 

And wily cunning ; artful he delays, 

Evades, eludes, and finally escapes. 

Such arms are justified by violence. 


But circumspection countervails deceit. 


Which a pure spirit doth abhor to use. 


Do not incautiously condemn thyself. 


Oh, couldst thou see the struggle of my soul, 

Courageously to ward the first attack 

Of an unhappy doom, which threatens me ! 

Do I then stand before thee weaponless ? 

Prayer, lovely prayer, fair branch in woman's hand. 

More potent far than instruments of war, 

Thou dost thrust back. What now remains for nie 

Wherewith my inborn freedom to defend ? 

Must I implore a miracle from heaven ? 

Is there no power within my spirit's depths r 


Extravagant thy interest in the fate 

Of these two strangers. Tell me who they are 

For whom thy heart is thus so deeply mov'd. 


They are — they seem at least — I think them Greeks. 


Thy countrymen ; no doubt they have renew'd 
The pleasing pictui-e of return. 




IPHIGENIA, after a pause. 

Doth man 
Lay undisputed claim to noble deeds ? 
Doth he alone to his heroic breast 
Clasp the impossible ? What call we great ? 
What deeds, though oft narrated, still uplift 
With shudd'ring horror the narrator's soul, 
But those which, with improbable success, 
The valiant have attempted ? Shall the man 
AVho all alone steals on his foes by night, 
A7id raging like an unexpected fire, 
Destroys the slumbering host, and press'd at length, 
By rous'd opponents or his foemen's steeds, 
Retreats with booty — be alone ex toll' d ? 
Or he who, sccrning safety, boldly roams 
Through woods and dreary wilds, to scour the land 
Of thieves and robbers ? Is nought left for us ? 
Must gentle woman quite forego her nature, 
Force against force employ, — like Amazons, 
Usurp the sword from man, and bloodily 
Kevenge oppression ? In my heart I feel 
The stirrings of a noble enterprize ; 
But if I fail — severe reproach, alas ! 
And bitter misery will be my doom. 
Thus on my knees I supplicate the gods. 
Oh, are ye truthful, as men say ye are, 
Now prove it by your countenance and aid •, 
Honour the truth in me ! Attend, O king ! 
A secret plot is laid ; 'tis vain to ask 
Touching the captives ; they are gone, and seek 
Their comrades who await them on the shore. 
The eldest, — he whom madness lately seiz'd, 
And who is now recover' d, — is Orestes, 
My brother, and the other Pylades, 
His early friend and faithful confidant. 
From Delphi, Phoebus sent them to this shore 
With a divine command to steal away 
The image of Diana, and to him 
Bear back the sister, promising for this 
Bedemption to the blood-stain' d matricide, 
I have deliver' d now into thy hands 



The remnants of the house of Tantalus. 
Destroy us — ^if thou canst. 


And dost thon think 
The savage Scythian will attend the voice 
©f truth and of humanity, unheard 
By the Greek Atreus ? 


'Tis heard by all, 
Whate'er may be their clime, within whose breast 
Flows pure and free the gushing stream of life. — 
What silent purpose broods within thy soul r 
Is it destruction ? Let me perish first ! 
For now, deliverance hopeless, I perceive 
The dreadful peril into which I have 
With rash precipitancy plung'd my friends. 
Alas ! I soon shall see them bound before me \ 
How to my brother shall I say farewell ? 
I, the unhappy author of his death. 
Ne'er can I gaze again in his dear eyes ! 


The traitors have contriv'd a cunning web, 
And cast it round thee, who, secluded long, 
Giv'st willing credence to thine own desires. 


No, no ! I'd pledge my life these men are true. 

And shouldst thou find them otherwise, O king, 

Then let them perish both, and cast me forth. 

That on some rock-girt island's dreary shore 

I may atone my folly. Are they true, 

And is this man indeed my dear Orestes, 

My brother, long implor'd, — release us both, 

And o'er us stretch the kind protecting arm. 

Which long hath sheltered me. My noble sire 

Fell through his consort's guilt, — she by her son ; 

On him alone the hope of Atreus' race 

Doth now repose. Oh, with pure heart and hands 

Let me depart to expiate our house. 

Yes, thou wilt keep thy promise ; thou didst swear, 

That were a safe return provided me, 

I should be free to go. The hour is come. 



irHlGENlA 11^ TAUmS. 

A king doth never grant like common men, 
Merely to gain a respite from petition ; 
Nor promise what he hopes will ne'er be claim'cL 
Then first he feels his dignity complete 
When he can make the long- expecting happy. 


As fire opposes water, and doth seek 

With hissing rage to overcome its foe, 

So doth my anger strive against thy words, 


Let mercy, like the consecrated flame 

Of silent sacrifice, encircl'd round 

With songs of gratitude, and joy, and praise, 

Above the tumult gently rise to heaven. 


How often hath this voice assuag'd my soul 


Extend thy hand to me in sign of peace. 


Large thy demand within so short a time. 


Beneficence doth no reflection need. 


'Tis needed oft, for evil springs from good. 


'Tis doubt which good doth oft to evil turn. 
Consider not : act as thy feelings prompt thee. 

ORESTES {armed). iphigenta. thoas. 
ORESTES, addressing his followers. 
Redouble your exertions ! hold them back ! 
Few moments will suffiee; retain your ground, 
And keep a passage open to the ship 
For me and for my sister. 

To IPHIGENIA, without perceiving THOAS* 
Come with speed! 
We are betray' d, — ^brief time remains for flight. 


None in my presence with impunity 
His naked weapon wears. 



Do not profane 
Diana's sanctuary with rage and blood. 
Command your people to forbear awhile, 
And listen to the priestess, to the sister. 


Say, who is he that threatens us? 


In him 

Revere the king, who was my second father. 
Forgive me, brother, that my childlike heart 
Hath plac'd our fate thus wholly in his hands. 
I have betray' d your meditated flight. 
And thus from treachery redeem' d my soul, 


Will he permit our peaceable return? 


Thy gleaming sword forbids me to reply. 

ORESTES, sheathing his sioord* 
Then speak ! thou seest I listen to thy words. 



Enter pylades, soon after him arkas, hath with 
drawn swords, 


Do not delay! our friends are putting forth 
Their final sti'ength, and yielding step by step, 
Are slowly driven backward to the sea. — 
A conference of princes find I here ? 
Is this the sacred person of the king ? 


Calmly, as doth become thee, thou dost stand, 
O king, surrounded by thine enemies. 
Soon their temerity shall be chastis'd; 
Their yielding followers fly,— their ship is ours. 
Speak biit the word and it is wrapt in flames. 




Go, and command my people to forbear I 

Let none annoy the foe while we confer. {Arhis reitresJ) 


I willingly consent. Go, Pylades! 

Collect the remnant of oxxr friends, and wait 

The appointed issue of our enterprize. 

{Pylades retires.) 




Relieve my cares ere ye begin to speak. 

I fear contention, if thou wilt not hear 

The voice of equity, O king, — if thou 

Wilt not, my brother, curb thy headstrong youth, 


I, as becomes the elder, check my rage. 
Now answer me : how dost thou prove thyself 
The priestess' brother, Agamemnon's son? 


Behold the sword with which the hero slew 
The valiant Trojans. From his murderer 
I took the weapon, and implor'd the Gods 
To grant me Agamemnon's mighty arm. 
Success, and valour, with a death more noble 
Select one of the leaders of thy host. 
And place the best as my opponent here. 
Where'er on earth the sons of heroes dwell, 
This boon is to the stranger ne'er refus'd. 


This privilege hath ancient custom here 
To strangers ne'er accorded. 


Then from us 

Commence the novel custom ! A v/hole race 

In imitation soon will consecrate 

Its monarch's noble action into law. 

Nor let me only for our libeHy,— 

Let me, a stranger, for all strangers f^ht. 



If I should fall, my doom be also theirs ; 
But if kind fortune crown me with success, 
Let none e'er tread this shore, and fail to meet 
The beaming eye of sympathy and loye, 
Or unconsol'd depart ! 


Thou dost not seeir>. 
Unworthy of thy boasted ancestry. 
Great is the number of the valiant men 
"Who wait upon me ; but I will myself. 
Although advanced in years, oppose the foe. 
And am prepared to txy the chance of arms. 


No, no ! such bloody proofs are not requir'd. 

Unhand thy weapon, king! my lot consider; 

Rash combat oft immortalizes man; 

If he should fall, he is renown' d in song; 

But after ages reckon not the tears 

Which ceaseless the forsaken woman sheds ; 

And poets tell not of the thousand nights 

Consum'd in weeping, and the dreary days. 

Wherein her anguish' d soul, a prey to grief. 

Doth vainly yearn to call her lov'd one back. 

Fear warn'd me to beware lest robber's wilea 

Might lure me from this sanctuary, and then 

Betray me into bondage. Anxiously 

I question' d them, each circumstance explor'd, 

Demanded signs, and now my heart 's assur'd. 

See here, the mark as of three stars impress'd 

On his right hand, which on his natal day 

Were by the priest doclar'd to indicate 

Some dreadful deed by him to be perform'd. 

And then this scar, which doth his eyebrow cleave 

Redoubles my conviction. When a child, 

Electra, rash and inconsiderate. 

Such was her nature, loos' d him from her arms. 

He fell against a tripos. Oh, 'tis he ! — 

Shall I adduce the likeness to his sire, 

Or the deep rapture of my inmost heart. 

In further token of assurance, king? 




E'en though thy words had banish' d every doubt, 
And I had curb'd the anger in my breast, 
Still must our arms decide. I see no peace. 
Their purpose, as thou didst thyself confess, 
Was to deprive me of Diana's image. 
And think ye that I'll look contented on? 
The Greeks are wont to cast a longing eye 
Upon the treasures of barbarians, 
A golden fleece, good steeds, or daughters fair; 
But force and guile not always have avail' d 
To lead them, with their booty, safely home, 


The image shall not be a cause of strife ! 

We now perceive the error which the God, 

Our journey here commanding, like a veil. 

Threw o'er our minds. His counsel I implor'd, 

To free me from tlie Furies' grisly band. 

He answer'd, "Back to Greece the sister bring, 

Who in the sanctuary on Tauris' shore 

Unwillingly abides; so ends the curse!" 

To Phoebus' sister we applied the words. 

And he referr'd to thee! The bonds severe, 

Which held thee from us, holy one, are rent. 

And thou art ours once m.ore. At thy blest toucix, 

I felt myself restor'd. Within thine arms, 

Madness once more around me coil'd its folds, 

Crushing the marrow in my frame, and then 

Tor ever, like a serpent, fled to hell. 

Through thee, the daylight gladdens me anew. 

The counsel of the Goddess now shines forth 

In all its beauty and beneficence. 

Like to a sacred image, unto which 

An oracle immutably hath bound 

A city's welfare, thee Diana took. 

Protectress of our house, and guarded here 

Within this holy stillness, to become 

A blessing to thy brother and thy race. 

Now when each passage to escape seems clos'd. 

And safety hopeless, thou dost give us all. 


king, incline thine heart to thoughts of peace ! 
Let her fulfil her mission, and complete 

The consecration of our father's house, 

Me to their purified abode restore, 

And place upon my brow the ancient crown! 

Requite the blessing which her presence brought thee* 

And let me now my nearer right enjoy ! 

Cunning and force, the proudest boast of man, 

Fade in the lustre of her perfect truth ; 

Nor unrequited will a noble mind 

Leave confidence, so childlike and so pure. 


Think on thy promise ; let thy heart be mov'd 

By what a true and honest tongue hath spoken ! 

Look on us, king ! an opportunity 

For such a noble deed not oft occurs. 

Refuse thou canst not, — give thy quick consent. 


Then go ! 


Not so, my king ! I cannot part 
Without thy blessing, or in anger from thee. 
Banish us not ! the sacred right of guests 
Still let us claim : so not eternally 
Shall we be sever' d. Honour' d and belov'd 
As mine own father was, art thou by me : 
And this impression in my soul remains. 
Should e'en the meanest peasant of thy land 
Bring to my ear the tones I heard from thee 
Or should I on the humblest see thy garb, 

1 will with joy receive him as a god. 
Prepare his couch myself, beside our hearth 
Invite him to a seat, and only ask 
Touching thy fate and thee. Oh, may the gods 
To thee the merited reward impart 

Of all thy kindness and benignity ! 
Farewell ! Oh, do not turn away, but give 
One kindly word of parting in return ! 
vSo shiill the wind more gentlv swell our sails. 



And from OtM^ <6jes with soften' d anguish flow 
The tears of separation. Fare thee well ! 
And graciously extend to me thy hand, 
In pledge of ancient friendship. 

THOAS, extending his hand. 

Fare thee well T 



Alphonso II., DuJce of Ferrara. 
Leonora D'Este, Sister to the Duke. 
LEONOiiA Sanvitale, Countess of Scandiano, 


Antonio Montecatino, Secretary of State, 



A Garden adorned ivith husts of the Epic Poets. To the vight^ 
a bust of Vugil; to the left, one of Ariosto. 

PKiNCESS and Leonora, habited as shepherdesses. 


Smiling thou dost survey me, Leonora, 
Then with a smile thou dost survey thyself. 
"What is it ? Let a friend partake \hy thought ! 
Thou seemest pensive, yet thou seemest pleased. 


Yes, princess, I am pleas' d to see us both 
In rural garb thus tastefully attir'd. 
Two happy shepherd maidens we appear. 
And our employment speaks our happiness ; 
Garlands we wreath. This one, so gay with flowers. 
Beneath my hand in varied beauty grows ; 
Whilst thou, with loftier taste and larger heart. 
Hast of the pliant laurel made thy choice. 


The laurel wreath, which aimlessly I twin'd. 
Hath found at once a not unworthy head; 
I place it gratefully on Virgil's brow. 

^he crowns the lust of VirgiL) 




With my full joy o as wreath I crown the brow 
Of Ludovieo, of the tuneful lyre — 

{She crowns the hust of Ariose,) 
Let him whose sportive sallies never fade, 
Eeceive his tribute from the early spring. 


My brother is most kind, to bring us here 
In this sweet season to our rural haunts ; 
Here, by the hour, in freedom unrestrain'd, 
We may dream back the poet's golden age. 
I love this Belriguardo ; in my youth 
Full many a joyous day I lingered here. 
And this bright sunshine, and this verdant green, 
Bring back the feeling of that by-gone time. 


Yes, a new world surrounds ns ! Grateful nov/ 
The cooling shelter of these evergreens. 
The tuneful murmur of this gurgling spring 
Once more revives us. In the morning wind 
The tender branches waver to and fro. 
The flowers look upwards from their lowly beds, 
And smile upon us with their childlike eyes. 
The gard'ner, fearless grown, removes the roof 
That screened his citron and his orange-trees ; 
The azure dome of heaven above us rests ; 
And, in the far horizon, from the hills 
The snow in balmy vapour melts away. 


Most dearly welcome were the spring to me, 
Did it not rob me of my much lov'd friend. 


My princess, in these sweet and tranquil hourc. 
Remind me not how soon I must depart. 


Yon mighty city will restore to thee. 

In double measure, what thou leavest here. 


Duty and love both call me to my lord, 
Forsaken long. I bring to him his son. 
Whose mind and form have rapidly mator'd 


Since last they met, — I share his father's joy. 
Florence is great and noble, but the worth 
Of all her treasur'd riches doth not reach 
The prouder jewels that Ferrara boasts. 
That city to her people owes her power ; 
Ferrara grew to greatness through her princes, 


More through the noble men whom chance led here* 
And who, in sweet communion, here remain' d. 


Chance doth again disperse what chance collects ; 

A noble nature can alone attract 

The noble, and retain them, as ye do. 

Around thy brother, and around thyself. 

Assemble spirits worthy of you both, 

And ye are worthy of your noble sires. 

Here the fair light of science and free thought 

Was kindled first, while o'er the darken'd world 

Still hung barbarian gloom. E'en when a child 

The names resounded loudly in mine ear. 

Of Hercules and Hypolite of Este. 

My father oft with Florence and with Rome 

ExtoU'd Ferrara ! Oft in youthful dream 

Hither I fondly turn'd, and now am here. 

Here was Petrarca kindly entertain' d, 

i'lnd Ariosto found his models here. 

Italia boasts no great, no mighty name, 

This princely mansion hath not call'd its guest. 

In fost'ring genius we enrich ourselves ; 

Dost thou present her with a friendly gift, 

One far more beautiful she leaves with thee. 

The ground is hallowed where the good man treads ; 

When centuries have roll'd, his sons shall hear 

The deathless echo of his words and deeds. 


Yes, if those sons have feelings quick as thine. 
This happiness full oft I envy thee. 


Which purely and serenely thou, my friend* 
As few beside thee, dost thyself enjoy. 
When my full heart impels me to express 



Promptly and freely what I keenly feel, 

Thou feel'st the while more deeply, and — art filcatt 

Delusive splendour doth not dazzle thee. 

Nor wit beguile ; and flatt'ry strives in vain 

With fawning artifice to win thine ear; 

Firm is thy temper, and correct thy taste, 

Thy judgment just, and, truly great thyself. 

With greatness thou dost ever sympathize. 


Thou shouldst not to this high wrought flatt'ry lend 
Confiding friendship's consecrated garb. 


Friendship is just; she only estimates 
The full extent and measure of thy worth. 
And though we give to fortune and to chance 
Their portion in thy culture, — still 'tis thine, 
And all extol thy sister and thyself 
Before the noblest women of the age. 


That can but little move me, Leonora, 

When I reflect how poor at best we are. 

To others more indebted than ourselves. 

My knowledge of the ancient languages, 

And of the treasures by the past bequeath'd, 

I owe my mother, who, in varied lore 

And mental power, her daughters far excelled. 

Might either claim comparison with her, 

'Tis undeniably Lucretia's right. 

Besides, what nature and what chance bestow'd 

As property or rank I ne'er esteem'd. 

'Tis pleasure to me when the wise converse, 

That I their scope and meaning comprehend ; 

Whether they judge a man of by- gone times 

And weigh his actions, or of science treat, 

Which, v/hen extended and applied to life. 

At once exalts and benefits mankind. 

Where'er the converse of such men may lead, 

I follow gladly, for with ease I follow. 

Well pleas' d the strife of argument I hear, 

When, round the powers that sway the human breast, 

Waking alternately delight and fear, 



With grace the lip of eloquence doth play ; 
And listen gladly when the princely thirst 
Of fame, of wide dominion, forms the theme, 
When of an able man, the thought profound, 
Develop' d skilfully with subtle tact. 
Doth not perplex and dazzle, but instruct. 


And then, this grave and serious converse o'er. 
Our ear and inner mind with tranquil joy 
Upon the poet's tuneful verse repose, 
Who through the medium of harmonious soundci 
Infuses sweet emotions in the soul. 
Thy lofty spirit grasps a wide domain ; 
Content am I to linger in the isle 
Of poesy, her laurel groves among. 


In this fair land, I'm told, the myrtle blooms 
In richer beauty than all other trees ; 
Here, too, the muses wander, yet we seek 
A friend and playmate 'mong their tuneful choir 
Less often than we seek to meet the bard, 
Who seems to shun us, nay, appears to flee, 
In quest of something that we know not of. 
And which perchance is to himself unknown. 
How charming were it, if in happy hour 
Encountering us, he should with ecstasy 
In our fair selves the treasure recognize. 
Which in the world he long had sought in vain ! 


To your light raillery I must submit. 
So light its touch it passeth harmless by. 
I honour all men after their desert. 
And am in truth toward Tasso only just. 
His eye scarce lingers on this earthly scene. 
To natm*e's harmony his ear is tuned. 
What hist'ry offers, and what life presents, 
His bosom promptly and with joy receives* 
The widely scatter' d is by him combined, 
And his quick feeling animates the dead. 
Oft he ennobles what we count for nought ; 
What others treasure is by him despip'd. 



I'ims moving in bis own enchanted spnere. 
The wondrous man doth still allure us on 
To wander with him and partake his joy ; 
Though seeming to approach us, he remains 
Remote as ever, and perchance his eye, 
Resting on us, sees spirits in our place. 


Thou hast with taste and truth portrayed the bari 

Who hovers in the shadowy realm of dreams. 

And yet reality, it seems to me, 

Hath also power to Im^e him and enchain. 

In the sweet sonnets, scatter' d here and there. 

With which we sometimes find our trees adorn'd. 

Creating like the golden fruit of old 

A new Hesperia, perceiv'st thou not 

The gentle tokens of a genuine love ? 


In these fair leaves I also take delight. 

With all his rich diversity of thought 

He glorifies one form in all his strains. 

Now he exalts her to the starry heavens 

In radiant glory, and before that form 

Bows down, like angels in the realms above. 

Then stealing after her through silent fields. 

He garlands in his wreath each beauteous flowery 

And should the form he worships disappear, 

Hallows the path her gentle foot hath trod. 

Thus like the nightingale, conceal' d in shade. 

From his love-laden breast he fills the air 

And neighbouring thickets with melodious plaiiit f 

His blissful sadness and his tuneful grief 

Charm every ear, enrapture every heart. 


And Leonora is the favour' d name 
Selected for the object of his strains. 


Thy name it is, my princess, as 'tis mine. 
It would displease me were it otherwise. 
Now I rejoice that under this disguise 
He can conceal his sentiments for thee, 
And am lao less contented w ith the thought 



This sweet harmonious name should picture uie. 
Here is no question of an ardent love, 
Seeking possession, and with jealous care 
Screening its object from another's gaze. 
While he enraptiur'd contemplates thy worth 
He in my lighter nature may rejoice. 
He loves not us, — forgive me what I say, — 
His lov'd ideal from the spheres he brings. 
And doth invest it with the name we l^ear ; 
His feeling we participate ; we seem 
To love the man, yet only love in him 
The highest object that can claim our love. 


In this deep science thou art deeply vers'd, 

My Leonora, and thy words in truth 

Play on my ear, yet scarcely reach my soul. 


Thou, Plato's pupil ! and not comprehend 
What a mere novice dares to prattle to thee ? 
It must be then that I have widely err'd; 
Yet well I know I do not wholly err. 
For love doth in this graceful school appear 
No longer as the spo'Jt and wayward child ; 
He is the youth whom Psyche hath espous'd ; 
Who sits in council with the assembrd Gods. 
He hath relinquish' d passion's fickle sway. 
He clings no longer with delusion sweet 
To outward form and beauty, to atone 
For brief excitement by disgust and hate. 


Here comes my brother ! let us not betray 
Whither our converse hath conducted us ; 
Else we shall have his raillery to bear 
As in our dress he found a theme for jest. 



Tasso I seek, but nowhere can I find him ; 
And even here, with you, I meet him not. 
Can you inform me where he hides himself? 





I have scarce seen him for the last two 


'Tis his habitual failing that he seeks 
Seclusion rather than society. 
I can forgive him when the motley crowd 
He shuns thus studiously, and loves to hold 
Free converse with himself in solitude ; 
But I cannot approve, that thus he flies 
The circle of his more immediate friends. 


If I mistake not, thou wilt soon, O Prince, 

Convert this censure into joyful praise. 

To-day I saw him from afar ; he held 

A book and scroll, in which at times he wrote. 

And then resum'd his walk, then wrote again. 

A passing word, which yesterday he spoke, 

Seem'd to announce to me his work complete ; 

His sole anxiety is now to add 

A finish' d beauty to minuter parts. 

That to your grace, to whom he owes so mucli, 

A not unworthy offering he may bring. 


A welcome, when he brings it, shall be his. 
And long immunity from all restraint. 
Great, in proportion to the lively joy 
And interest which his noble work inspires, 
Is my impatience at its long delay. 
After each slow advance he leaves his task ; 
He ever change th, and can ne'er conclude. 
Till baffled hope is weary; for we see 
Reluctantly postpon'd to times remote 
A pleasure we had fondly deem'd so near. 


I rather praise the modesty, the care 

With which thus, step by step, he nears the god. 

His aim is not to string amusing tales, 

Or weave harmonious numbers, which at length. 

Like words delusive, die upon the ear. 

His numerous rhymes he labours to combine 

Into one beautiful, poetic, whole ; 



And he whose soul this lofty, aim inspires, 
Must pay devoted homage to the muse. 
Disturb him not, my brother, time alone 
Is not the measure of a noble work ; 
And, is the coming age to share our joy. 
We of the present must forget ourselves. 


Let us, dear sister, work together here, 

As for our mutual good we oft have done. 

Am I too eager— thou must then restrain; 

Art thou too gentle — I will urge him on. 

Then we perchance shall see him at the goal. 

Where to behold him we have wish'd in vaiu. 

His father-land, the world, shall then admire 

And view with wonder his completed work. 

I shall receive my portion of the fame. 

And Tasso will be usher d into life. 

In a contracted sphere, a noble man 

Cannot develope all his mental powers. 

On him his country and the world must work. 

He must endure both censure and applause, 

Must be compeird to estimate aright 

Himself and others. Solitude no more 

Lulls him delusively with flatt'ring dreams. 

Opponents will not, friendship dare not, spare. 

Then in the strife the youth puts forth his power?; 

Knows what he is, and feels himself a man. 


Thus, Prince, will he owe everything to thee, 
Who hast already done so much for him . 
Talents are nurtured best in solitude, — 
But character on life's tempestuous sea. 
Oh that according to thy rules he would 
Model his temper as he forms his taste, 
Cease to avoid mankind, nor in his breast 
Nurture suspicion into fear and hate ! 


He only fears mankind who knows them not, 
And he will soon misjudge them who avoids. 
This is the case with him. till graaually, 
His noble mind is trammell'd and perplex' d. 



Thus to secure my favour he hetrays, 
At times, unseemly ardour ; against souie 
\Vho, I am well assur'd, are not his foes. 
He cherishes suspicion ; if by chance 
A letter go astray, a hireling leave 
His service, or a paper be mislaid, 
He sees deception, treachery, and fraud 
Working insidiously to sap his peace. 


Let us, beloved brother, not forget 
That his own nature none can lay aside. 
But should a lov'd companion wound his foot. 
We would relax our speed, and lend our hand 
Gently to aid the sufferer on his way. 


Better it were to remedy his pain, 
With the physician's aid attempt a cure, 
Then with our heal'd and renovated friend 
A new career of life with joy pursue. 
And yet, dear friends, I hope that I may ne'er 
Incur the censure of the cruel leech. 
I do my utmost to impress his mind 
With feelings of security and trust. 
Oft purposely in presence of the crowd, 
With marks of favour I distinguish him. 
Should he complain of aught, I sift it well, 
As lately when his chamber he supposed 
Had been invaded ; then, should nought appoa" 
I calmly show him how I view the affair. 
And, as we ought to practise every grace — 
With Tasso, seeing he deserves it well, 
I practise patience ; you I'm sure will aid. 
I now have brought you to your rural hauuts. 
And must myself at eve return to to^^TL. 
For a few moments you will see Antonio ; 
He calls here for me on his way from Roino, 
We have important business to discuss, 
Resolves to frame, and letters to indite, 
All which compels me to return to town. 


Wilt thou pemiit that we return with thco? 




Nay, rather linger here in Belriguardo, 

Or go together to Consandoli ; 

Enjoy these lovely days as fancy prompts, 


Thou canst not stay with us ? Not here arrange 
All these affairs as weU as in the town ? 


So soon, thou takest hence Antonio, too, 
Who has so much to tell us about Rome. 


It must be so, but we will soon return ; 
Then he shall tell you all you wish to hear, 
And you shall aid me to reward the man 
Who, in my cause, hath labour'd with such zeal. 
And having talk'd our fill, the crowd may ccme, 
That mirth and joy may revel in our groves. 
And that some beauteous form, as is but meet. 
May, should I thither turn, frequent the shade. 


And we meanwhile will kindly shut our eyes. 


Such kindness you know well I too can show. 

PRINCESS, {turned toivards the scene), 
I long have notic'd Tasso from afar. 
This way he slowly doth direct his steps ; 
At times he pauses suddenly ; anon. 
As if irresolute, retires in haste. 
And then again stands still. 


Disturb him not, 
Nor when the poet dreams and versifies 
Intrade upon his musings, — let him roam. 


No, he has seen us, and he comes this way. 



TASSO, with a volume hound in parchment, 


Slowly I come to bring my work to thee. 



And yet I linger ere presenting it. 
Although apparently it seem complete, 
Too well I Imow it is unfinished stiU. 
But, if I cherish' d once an anxious fear 
Lest I should bring thee an imperfect work, 
A new solicitude constrains me now. 
I would not seem ungrateful, nor appear 
Unduly anxious ; and, as to his friends, 
A man can say but simply, Here I am," 
That they, with kind forbearance, may rejoice . 
So I can only say, — Receive my work ! 

[^He vresmts the volume. 


Thou hast surprised me, Tasso, with thy gift, 

And made this lovely day a festival. 

I hold it then at length within my hands, 

And in a certain sense can call it mine. 

Long have I wish'd that thou couldst thus resolve, 

And say at length " 'Tis finish'd ! here it is." 


Are you contented ? then it is complete ; 

For it belongs to you in every sense. 

Were I to contemplate the pains bestow 'd 

Or dwell upon the written character, 

I might, perchance, exclaim, — This work is mine. 

But when I mark what 'tis that to my song, 

Its inner worth and dignity imparts, 

I humbly feel I owe it all to you. 

If natm'e from her liberal stores on me 

The genial gift of poesy bestow' d. 

Capricious fortune, with malignant power 

Had thrust me from her ; though this beauteous world 

With all its varied splendour lur'd the boy. 

Too early was his youthful eye bedimm'd 

By his lov'd parents' undeserved distress. 

Forth from my lips when I essay' d to sing, 

There ever flow'd a melancholy song. 

And I accompanied, with plaintive tones, 

My father's sorrow and my mother s grief, 

'Twas thou alone, who from this narrow sphere 

Rais'd me to gloriout liberty, reliev'd 


From each de})ressing care my youthful mind. 
And gave me freedom, in whose genial air 
JVIy spirit could unfold in harmony. 
Then whatsoe'er the merit of the work, 
Thine be the praise, for it belongs to thee. 


A second time thou dost deserve applause, 
And honour' st modestly thyself and us. 


Fain would I say how sensibly I feel 
That what I bring is all derived from thee ! 
The inexperienc'd youth — could he produce 
The poem from his own unfurnish'd mind.'' 
Could he invent the conduct of the war 
The gallant bearing and the martial skill 
Which every hero on the ik^ld display' d, 
The leader's prudence, and his followers' zeal, 
How vigilance the arts of cunning foil d, — 
Hast thou not, valiant Prince, infus'd it all, 
As if my guardian genius thou hadst been, 
Through a mere mortal, deigning to reveal 
His nature high and inaccessible } 


Enjoy the work in which we all rejoice ^ 


Enjoy the approbation of the good ! 


Rejoice too in. thy universal fame I 


This single moment is enough for me. 
Of you alone I thought while I compos' d : 
Yom- pleasure was my first, my dearest wish, 
And your approval was my highest aim. 
Who does not in hip friends behold the world. 
Deserves not that the world should hear of hiui^ 
Here is m3' fatherland, and here the sphere 
In which my spirit fondly loves to dwell : 
Here I attend and value every hint ; 
Here speak experience, knowledge, and true tast>: 
Here stand the present and the future age. 
With shy reserve the poet shuns the crowd, — 



Its judgment but perplexes. Those alone 
With mmds like yours can understand and feel. 
And such alone should censure and reward. 


If thus the present and the future age 
We represent, it is not meet that we 
Keceive the poet's song unrecompens'd. 
The laurel- wreath, fit chaplet for the bard, 
Which e'en the hero, who requires his verse. 
Sees without envy round his temples twin'd, 
Adorns, thou seest, thy predecessor's brow. 

\_Pointing to the bust of Viryh 
Hath chance, hath some kind genius twin'd the wreath, 
And brought it hither ? Not in vain it thus 
Presents itself: Virgil I hear exclaim, 
" Wherefore confer this honour on the dead ? 
They in their lifetime had reward and joy ; 
Do ye indeed revere the bards of old ? 
Then to the living bard accord his due. 
My marble statue has been amply crown' d. 
And the green laurel branch belongs to life." 

[Alphonso makes a sign to his sister; she takes the 
crown from the bust of Virgil, and approaches 
Tasso: he steps back, 


Thou dost refuse ? Seest thou w^hat hand the wreath, 
The fair, the never-fading wreath, presents ! 


Oh let me pause ; I scarce can comprehend 
How I can live after an hour like this. 


Live in enjoyment of the, high reward, 

From which thy inexperience shrinks with fear. 

PRINCESS, raising the croivn. 
Thou dost afford me, Tasso, the rare joy 
Of giving silent utt'rance to my thought. 


The beauteous burden from thy honour' d hands, 
On my weak head, thus kneeling, I receive. 

\JE[e kneels down; the Princess places thi 
croivn upon his head. 



LEONORA, applauding, 
Loug live the poet, for the first time crown'd ! 
How well the croTSTi adorns the modest man ! 


It is an emblem only of that crown 
Which shall adorn thee on the Capitol. 


There louder voices will salute thine ear ; 
Friendship with lower tones rewards thee here. 


Take it, oh take it quickly, from my brow ! 
Pray thee remove it ! It doth scorch my locks ; 
And like a sunbeam, that with fervid heat 
Falls on my forehead, burns up in my brain 
The power of thought ; while fever's fiery glow 
Impels my blood. Forgive ! it is too much. 


This garland rather doth protect the head 
Of him who treads the burning realm of fame, 
And with its grateful shelter cools his brow. 


I am not worthy to receive its shade. 

Which only round the hero's brow should wave. 

Ye gods, exalt it high among the clouds, 

To fioat in glory inaccessible, 

That, through eternity, my life may be 

An endless striving to attain this goal ! 


He who in youth acquires life's noblest gifts, 
Learns early to esteem their priceless worth ; 
He who in youth enjoys, resigneth not 
Without reluctance what he once possess'd ; 
And he who would possess, must still be arin'd. 


And he who would be always arm'd, must feel 
Within his breast a power that ne'er forsakes. 
Ah, it forsakes me now ! In happiness 
The inborn pow'r subsides, which prompted nic 
To meet injustice with becoming pride, 
And steadfastly to face adversity. 



Hath the delight, the rapture of this hour, 
Dissolv'd the strength and marrow of my limbs? 
My knees sink feebly, and, a second time, 
Thou seest me, Princess, here before thee bow'd ; 
Grant my petition, and remove the crown. 
That, as awaken' d from a blissful dream, 
A new and fresh existence I may feel. 


If thou with quiet modesty canst wear 
The glorious talent from the gods receiv'd, 
Learn also now the laurel wreath to wear, 
The fairest gift that friendship can bestow 
The brow it once hath worthily adorn' d. 
It shall encircle through eternity. 


Oh let me then asham'd from hence retire I 

Let me in deepest shades my joy conceal. 

As there my sorrow I was wont to shroud. 

There will I range alone ; no eye will there 

Remind me of a bliss, so undeserv'd ; 

And if perchance I should behold a youth 

In the clear mirror of a crystal spring, 

Who, in the imag'd heaven, 'midst rocks and trees, 

Absorb'd in thought appears, his brow adorn'd 

With glory's garland, it shall seem to me 

As 'twere Elysium mirror'd in the flood. 

I pause and calmly ask, Who may this be ? 

What youth of by-gone times, so fairly crown'd ? 

Whence can I learn his name, and his desert r 

I linger long, and musing fondly think : 

Oh might there come another, and yet more 

To join with him in friendly intercourse ! 

Oh could I see assembl'd round this spring 

The heroes and the bards of ancient times ! 

Could I behold them still united here 

As they in life were ever firmly bound I 

As with mysterious power the magnet binds 

Iron with iron, so do kindred aims 

Unite the souls of heroes and of bards. 

Himself forgetting. Homer spent his life 

In contemplation of two mighty men ; 



And Alexander in the Elysian fields 
Doth Homer and Achilles haste to seek. 
Oh would that I were present to behold 
Those mighty spirits in commimion met . 


Awake, awake ! let us not feel that thou 
Dost quite forget the present in the past. 


The present 'tis that elevates my mind ; 
I only seem oblivious, I'm entranc d. 


When thou dost speak with spirits, I rejoice 
The voice is human, and I gladly hear. 

Page steps to the Frincei 


He is arriv'd ! and in a happy hour ; 

Antonio ! Bring him hither ;— here he comes ! 



Thou'rt doubly welcome ! thou who bring' st at once 
Thyself and welcome tidings. 


Welcome here ! 


Scarce dare I venture to express the joy 

Which in your presence quickens me anew. 

In your society I find restored 

What I have miss'd so long. You seem content 

With what I've done, with what I have accomplish' i 

And thus I'm recomjoens'd for every care, 

For many days impatiently endur'd. 

And many others wasted purposely. 

At length our wish is gain'd, — the strife is o'er. 


I also greet thee, though I'm half displeased ; 
Thou dost arrive when I must hence depart. 


As if to mar my perfect happiness, 
Thou tak'st away one lovely part of It- 



My greetings too ! I also shall rejoice 

In converse with the much-experienc'd man. 


Thoult find me true, whenever thou wilt deigi'. 
To glance awhile from thy world into mine. 


Though thou by letter hast announc'd to me 

The progress and the issue of our cause, 

Full many questions I have yet to ask 

Touching the course thou hast pursued thereiii. 

In that strange region a well-measur d step 

Alone conducts us to our destin'd goal. 

Who doth his sovereign's interest purely seek, 

In Rome a hard position must maintain ; 

For Rome gives nothing, while she grasps at alL 

Let him who thither goes some boon to claim. 

Go well provided, and esteem himself 

Most happy if e'en then he gaineth aught. 


'Tis neither my demeanour nor my art 
By which thy will has been accomplish' d, PrinOi;?, 
For where the skill which at the Vatican 
Would not be over-master' d? Much conspir'd 
Which I could use in furth'rance of om- cause. 
Pope Gregor\' salutes and blesses thee. 
That aged man, that sovereign most august, 
Who on his brow the load of empire bears. 
Recalls the time when he embraced thee last 
With pleasure. He who can distinguish men 
Knows and extols thee highly. For thy sake 
He hath done much. 


So far as 'tis sincere. 
His good opinion cannot hut rejoice me. 
But well thou know'st, that from the Vatican 
The pope sees empires dwindl'd at his feet ; 
Princes and men must needs seem small indee^L 
Own what it was that most assisted thee. 


It was, in truth, the Pope's exalted mind. 


To liiin the small seems small, the great seems gree.1. 

That he may wield the empire of the world, 

He wisely yieldeth to surrounding powers. 

The value of the land which he resigns, 

As of your friendship, Prince, he knows full well. 

The peace of Italy must be secur'd, 

And friends alone encircle his domain. 

That all the might of Christendom, which he 

With hand so powerful directs and guides, 

May smite at once the Heretic and Tui'k. 


And is it known what men he most esteems, 
And who approach him confidentially ? 


The experienced man alone can win his ear. 

The active man his favour and esteem. 

He. who from early youth has serv'd the state, 

Commands it now, ruling those very courts 

Which, in his office of ambassador. 

He had observed and guided years before. 

The world lies spread before his searching gaze, 

Clear as the interests of his own domain. 

In action we must yield him our applause, 

And mark with joy, when time unfolds the plans 

Which his deep forethought fashion' d long before. 

There is no fairer prospect in the world 

Than to behold a prince who wisely rules, 

A realm where every one obeys with pride, 

And each imagines that he serves himself, 

Because 'tis justice only that commands. 


How ardently I long to view that realm ! 


Doubtless that thou may'st play thy part therein ; 
For Leonora never could remain 
A mere spectator : meet it were, fair friend, 
If now and then we let your gentle hands 
Join in the lofty game. Say, is't not so ? 


Thou wouldst provoke me, — ^thou shalt not succeed. 




I am already deeply in thy debt. 


Good ; then to-day I will remain in thine i 
Forgive, and do not interrupt me now. 

[Zb ANTONI':>. 

Say, has he done much for his relatives ? 


Nor more nor less than equity allows. 
The potentate, who doth neglect his frienis. 
Is even by the people justly blam'd. 
With wise discretion Gregory employs 
His friends as trusty servants of the state, 
And thus fulfils at once two kindred claims. 


Do science and the liberal arts enjoy 
His fost'ring care, and does he emulate 
The glorious princes of the olden time ? 


He honours science when it is of use, — 
Teaching to govern states and know mankind ; 
He prizes art when it embellishes, — 
When it exalts and beautifies his Rome, 
Erecting palaces and temples there. 
Which rank among the prodigies of earth. 
Within his sphere of influence he admits 
Nought inefficient, and alone esteems 
The active cause and instrument of good. 


Thou thinkest, then, that we may soon concliidjO 
The whole affair ? that no impediments 
Will finally be scattered in our v/ay } 


Unless I ^eatly err, 'twill but require 
A few brief letters and thy signature 
To bring this contest to a final close. 


This day with justice then T may proclaim 
A season of prosperity and joy. 
My frontiers are enlarged and made secure: 
Thou hast aocomplish'd all without the sword. 



And hence deservest well a civic crown. 

Our ladies on some beauteous morn shall twine 

A. wreath of oak to bind around thy brow. 

Meanwhile our poet hath enrich' d us too ; 

He, by his conquest of Jerusalem, 

Hath put our modern Christendom to shame. 

With joyous spirit and unwearied zeal, 

A high and distant goal he hath attain' d ; 

For his achievement thou behold' st him crown' d. 


Thou solv'st a riddle. On arriving here 
These two crown'd heads, excited my surprise. 


Oh, would that, while thou dost behold my joy 
Thou with the self-same glance couldst view my heart 
And witness there my deep humility ! 


How lavishly Alphonso can rcAvard 

I long have known ; thou only provest now 

What all enjoy who come within his sphere. 


When thou shalt see the work he hath perforin'd. 
Thou wilt esteem us moderate and just. 
Vv^e're but the first, the silent, witnesses 
Of praises, which the world and future years 
In tenfold measure will accord to him. 


Through you his fame is certain. Who so bold 
To entertain a doubt when you commend? 
But tell me, who on Ariosto's brow 
Hath placed this wreath ? 


This hand. 


It hatli done well , 
It more becomes him than a laurel crown 
A 9 o'er her fruitful bosom Nature throws 
Her variegated robe of beauteous green, 
So he enshrouds in Fable's flow'ry garb. 
WTiatever can conspire to render man 
Worthy of love and honour. Power and taste. 



Experience, understanding, and contenr, 

And a pure feeling for tlie good and true, 

Pers'^ade the spirit of his every song, 

And there appear in person, to repose 

'Neath blossoming trees, besprinkled by the sno^' 

Of lightly- falling flowers, their heads entwin'd 

With rosy garlands, while the sportive Loves 

With frolic humour weave their spells around. 

A copious fountain, gurgling near, displays 

Strange variegated fish, and all the air 

Is vocal with the song of wondrous birds ; 

Strange cattle pasture in the bowers and glades ; 

Half hid in verdure, Folly slily lurks ; 

At times, resounding from a golden cloud, 

The voice of Wisdom utters lofty truth. 

While Madness, from a wild harmonious lute. 

Scatters forth bursts of fitful harmony. 

Yet all the while the justest measure holds. 

He who aspires to emulate this man. 

E'en for his boldness well deserves a crown. 

Forgive me if I feel myself inspir'd, 

Like one entranc'd forget both time and place. 

And fail to w^eigh my words ; for all these cro\^^, 

These poets, and the festival attire 

Of these fair ladies, have transported me 

Out of myself into a foreign land. 


Who thus can prize one species of desert. 
Will not misjudge another ; thou to us 
Some future day, shalt show in Tasso's song 
What we can feel, and thou canst comprehend, 


Come now, Antonio ! many things lemam 
Whereof I am desirous to inquire. 
Then till the setting of the sun thou shalt 
Attend the ladies. Follow me, — Farewell ! 

[ Antonio follows the Prince, Tasso the Ladws. 



A Roonir 


My doubtful footsteps follow thee, O Pruiccss ; 
Tumultuous feelings vex my troubl'd soul, 
.A.nd solitude appears to beckon me 
And courteously to whisper, " Hither coiue, 
I will allay the tumult in thy breast." 
Yet if I only catch a glimpse of thee. 
If from thy lip a word salute mine ear. 
At once the fetters vanish from my soul. 
And all around me shines a brighter day. 
To thee I freely will confess, the man 
Who unexpectedly appear' d among us 
Hath rudely wak'd me from a golden drc^iiii ; 
So strangely have his nature and his word'o 
Affected me^ that more than ever now 
A want of inward harmony I feel, 
And a distracting conflict with myself, 


*Tis not to be expected that a friend 
Who long hath sojourn' d in a foreign land. 
Should in the moment of his first return. 
The tone of former times at once resume ; 
He in his inner mind is still unchanged. 
And a few days of intercourse will tune 
The jarring strings, until they blend once mor^. 
In perfect harmony. When he shall know 
The greatness of the work thou hast achieved. 
Believe me, he will place thee by the bard 
Whom as a giant now he sets before thee. 


My Princess, Ariosto's praise from him 
Has more delighted than offended me. 
Consoling 'tis, to know the man reno^v^l'd. 
Whom as our model we have plac'd before us : 



An inward voice then whispers to the heart ; 
*' Canst thou obtain a portion of his worth, 
A portion of his fame is also thine.' ^ 
No, that which hath most deeply mov'd my heai^t, 
"Which even now completely fills my soul, 
Was the majestic picture of that world, 
W^hich, with its living, restless, mighty, forms 
Around one great and prudent man revolves. 
And runs with measur'd steps the destin'd course 
Prescrib'd beforehand by the demigod. 
I listen' d eagerly, and heard with joy 
The wise discourse of the experienc'd man ; 
But ah ! the more I heard, the more I felt 
Mine own unworthiness, and fear'd that I 
Like empty sound, might dissipate in air, 
Or vanish lilie an echo or a dream. 


And yet erewhile thou didst so truly feel 

How bards and heroes for each other live. 

How bards and heroes to each other tend. 

And toward each other know no envious thought 

Noble in truth are deeds deserving fame, 

Eut it is also noble to transmit 

The lofty grandem^ of heroic deeds. 

Through worthy song, to our posterity. 

Be satisfied to contemplate in peace. 

From a small, shelt'ring state, as from the shore 

The wild and stormy current of the world. 


Was it not here, amaz'd, I first beheld 
The high reward on valiant deeds bestow'd^ 
An inexperienc'd youth I here arriv'd. 
When festival on festival conspir'd 
To render this the centre of renown. 
Oh what a scene Ferrara then display' d ! 
The wide arena, where in all its pomp 
Accomplish' d valour should its skill display, 
Was bounded by a circle, whose high worth 
The sun might seek to parallel in vain. 
The fairest women sat assembled there. 
And men the most distinguished of the ag?. 



Amaz'd the eye ran o'er the noble throng ; 
Proudly I cried, " And 'tis our Fatherland, 
That small, sea-girded land, hath sent them hero. 
They constitute the noblest court that e'er 
On honour, worth, or virtue, judgment pass'd. 
Survey them singly, and thou'lt not find one 
Of whom his neighbour needs to^ieel asham'd i"— 
And then the lists were open'd, chargers prane'd, 
Esquires press'd forward, helmets brightly gleam'd> 
The trumpet sounded, shiv'ring lances split, 
The din of clanging helm and shield was heard, 
And for a moment eddying dust concealed 
The victor's honour and the vanquish'd's shame. 
Oh let me draw a curtain o'er the scene. 
The all too brilliant festival conceal. 
That in this tranquil hour I may not feci 
Too painfully mine own unworthiness ! 


If that bright circle and those noble deeds 

Arous'd thee then to enterprize and toil. 

I could the while, young friend, have tutor' d thee 

In the still lesson of calm sufferance. 

The brilliant festival thou dost extol. 

Which then and since a hundred voices prais'd, 

I did not witness. In a lonely spot, 

So tranquil that unbroken on the ear 

Joy's lightest echo faintly died away, 

A prey to pain and melancholy thoughts, 

I was compeird to pass the tedious hours. 

Before me hover'd, on extended wing, 

Death's awful form, concealing from my view 

The prospect of this ever-changing world ; 

Slowly it disappear'd, and I beheld. 

As through a veil, the varied hues of life. 

Pleasing but indistinct; while living; forms 

Began once more to flicker through the gloouv 

Still feeble, and supported by my women, 

For the first time my silent room I left, 

When hither, full of happiness and life, 

Thee leading by the hand, Lucretia came. 

'1 stranger then, thou, Tasso, wast the iirst 



To welcome me on my return to life ; 
Much then I hop'd for both of us, and hopo 
Hath not, methinks, deeeiv'd us hitherto. 


Stunn'd by the tumult, dazzl'd by the glare 

Impetuous passions stirring in my breast, 

I by thy sister's side pursued my way 

In silence through the stately corridors, 

Then in the chamber enter' d, where ere loiii» 

Thou didst appear supported by thy women. 

Oh, what a moment ! Princess, pardon me ! 

As in the presence of a deity 

The victim of enchantment feels with joy 

His frenzied spirit from delusion freed ; 

So was my soul from every phantasy. 

From every passion, every false desire 

Restor'd at once by one calm glance of thhie ; 

And if, before, my inexperienc'd mind 

Had lost itself in infinite desires, 

I then, with shame, first turn'd my gaze witbii^p 

And recogniz'd the truly valuable. 

Thus on the wide sea- shore we seek in vain 

The pearl, reposing in its silent shell. 


'Twas the commencement of a happy time. 
And had Urbino's Duke not ta'en away 
My sister from us, years would then have pass'A 
In calm rm clouded happiness. But now. 
We miss too much her buoyancy and life. 
And the rich wit of the accomplish' d womaii. 


Too well I know since she departed hence. 
None hath been able to supply to thee 
The pure enjoyment which her presence gave* 
Alas, how often hath it grieved my soul ! 
How often have I in the silent grove 
Pour'd forth my lamentation ! How ! I orieda 
Is it her sister's sole prerogative 
To be a treasure to the dear one's heart ? 
Does then no other soul respond to herp, 
No other heart her confidence deserve ? 



Are soui and wit extinguish'd ? and should one. 

How great soe'er her worth, engross her love ? 

Forgive me, Princess ! Often I have wish'd 

I could be something to thee, — little, perhaps. 

But something ; not with words alone, with deeds 

I wish'd to be so, and in life to prove 

How I had worshipp'd thee in solitude. 

But I could ne'er succeed, and but too oft 

In error wounded thee, offending one 

By thee protected, or perplexing more 

What thou didst wish to solve, and thus, alas ! 

E'en in the moment when I fondly strove 

To draw more near thee, felt more distant stilL 


Thy wish I never have misconstrued, Tasso ; 
How thou dost prejudice thyself I know ; 
Unlike my sister, who possess' d the art 
Of living happily with every one. 
After so many years, thou scarce canst fmd 
A single friend. 


Blame me ! but show me, Drincess, 
The man or woman to whom, as to thee, 
I can unbosom freely ev'ry thought. 


My brother well deserves thy confidence. 


He is my Prince ! — ^Yet do not hence suppose 
That freedom's lawless impulse swells my breast. 
Man is not born for freedom, and to serve 
A prince deserving honour and esteem 
Is a pure pleasure to a noble mind. 
§till he's my sovereign, and of that great word 
I deeply feel the full significance, 
f must be silent when he speaks, and learn 
To do what he commands me, though perchanoe 
My heart and understanding both rebel. 


That never with my brother can occur. 
And in Antonio, who is now return'd, 
fhou wilt possess another prudent friend. 



The tender, weak, and vulnerable sex. 
Where moral order reigneth, women reign, 
They only are despis'd where rudeness triumphs; 
And wouldst thou touching either sex inquire, 
'Tis order woman ,«eeketh, freedom man. 


Thou thinkest us unfeeling, wild, and rude ? 


Not SO ! but ye with violence pursue 

A multitude of objects far remote. 

Ye venture for eternity to act, 

While we, with views more narrow, on this eartli 

Seek only one possession, well content 

If that with constancy remain our own. 

For we, alas ! are of no heart secure, 

Whate'er the ardour of its first devotion. 

Beauty is transient, which alone ye seem 

To hold in honour ; what beside remains 

No longer charms, — what doth not charm is dead. 

If among men there were who knew to prize 

The heart of woman, who could recognize 

What treasures of fidelity and love 

Are garner' d safely in a woman's breast ; 

If the remembrance of bright single hours 

Could vividly abide within your souls ; 

If your so searching glance could pierce the veil 

Which age and wasting sickness o'er us fling ; 

If the possession which should satisfy 

Waken'd no restless cravings in your hearts ; 

Then were our happy days indeed arriv'd, 

We then should celebrate our golden age. 


Thy words, my Princess, in my breast awake 
An old anxiety half lull'd to sleep. 


What mean'.st thouj '.lusso ? Freely speak with me. 


I oft before have heard, and recently 
Again it hath been rumour' d, — had I not 
Been told, I might have known it, — princes strive 
To win thy hand. What we must needs expect 


We view with dread, nay, almost with despair. 

Thoii v/ilt forsake us, — it is natural : 

How we shall bear thy loss, I do not knovr. 


Be for the present moment unconcerned ! 
Almost, I might say, unconcern' d for ever. 
I am contented still to tarry here, 
Nor know I any tie to lure me hence. 
And if thou wouldst indeed detain me, Tasso. 
Live peaceably with all, so shalt thou lead 
A happy life thyself, and I through thee. 


Teach me to do whate'er is possible ! 

My life itself is consecrate to thee. 

When to extol thee and to give thee thanks 

My heart unfolded, I experienc'd first 

The purest happiness that man can feel. 

My soul's ideal I first found in thee. 

As destiny supreme is rais'd above 

The will and counsel of the wisest men, 

So tower the gods of earth o'er common mortals. 

The rolling surge which we behold with dread. 

Doth all unheeded murmur at their feet 

Like gentle billows : they hear not the storm 

Which blusters round us, scarcely heed our prayerc 

And treat us as we helpless children treat, 

Letting us fill the air with sighs and plaints. 

Thou hast, divine one ! often borne with me, 

And like the radiant sun, thy pitying glance 

Hath from mine eyelid dried the dew of sorrow. 


'Tis only just that women cordially 
Should meet the poet, whose heroic song 
In strains so varied glorifies the sex. 
Tender or valiant, thou hast ever known 
To represent them amiable and noble ; 
And if Armida is deserving hate. 
Her love and beauty reconcile us to her. 


Whatever in my song doth reach the heart 
And find an echo there, I owe to one, 



And one alone ! No image undefin'd 
Hover' d before my soul, approaching nov/ 
In radiant glory, to retire again. 
I have myself, with mine own eyes, beheld 
The type of every virtue, every grace ; 
What I have copied thence will aye endure ; 
The heroic love of Tancred to Clorinda, 
Erminia's silent and unnotic'd truth, 
Sophronia's greatness and Olinda's woo ; 
These are not shadows by illusion bred ; 
I know they are eternal, for they are. 
And what is more deserving to survive. 
And silently to work for centuries, 
Than the confession of a noble love 
Confided modestly to gentle song ? 


And shall 1 name to thee another charm 
Which, all unconsciously, this song may claim? 
It doth allure us still to listen to it : 
We listen, and we think we understand ; 
We understand, and yet we censure not, 
So with thy song, thou winnest us at last. 


Oh what a heaven thou dost open to me. 
My Princess ! if this radiance blinds me not, 
I see unhop'd-for and eternal bliss 
Descending gloriously on golden beams. 


No further, Tasso ! many things there are 
That we may hope to win with violence ; 
While others only can become our own 
Through moderation and wise self-restraint. 
Such, it is said, is virtue, such is love. 
Which is allied to her. Think well of this. 



And art thou then allow' d to raise thine eycG? 
Around thee dar'st thou gaze Thou art aloivc t 
O'erheard these pillars what the princess spake 
And hast thou even these mute v/itne^^^AS 



Of thine exalted happiness to fear ? 

The sun arises of a new life-day, 

Whose splendour dims the light of former days. 

The goddess, downward stooping, swiftly bears 

Aloft the mortal. What a wide expanse 

Is to mine eye discover' d, what a realm ' 

How richly recompens'd my burning wish ! 

In dreams the highest happiness seem"d near, 

This happiness surpasses all my dreams. 

The man born blind conceiveth as he may 

Of light and colour ; when upon his eye 

The daylight pours, he hails a new-born sense. 

Full of vague hope and courage, drunk with joy, 

Reeling I tread this path. Thou giv'st me much ; 

Thou givest lavishly, as earth and heaven, 

With bounteous hand, dispense their costly gifts, 

Demanding in return what such a boon 

Alone empowers thee to demand from me. 

I must be moderate, I must forbear. 

And thus deserve thy cherish' d confidence. 

What have I ever done that she should choose me 

What can I do to merit her regard ? 

Her very confidence doth prove thy worth. 

Yes, princess, to thine ev'ry word and look, 

Be my whole soul for ever consecrate ! 

Ask what thou wilt, for I am wholly thine ! 

To distant regions let her send me forth 

In quest of toil, and danger, and renown ; 

Or in the grove, present the golden lyre, 

Devoting me to quiet and her praise. 

I'm her's ; possessing, she shall fashion me ! 

For her my heart hath garner' d ev'ry treasure ► 

Oh ! had some heavenly power bestow'd on me 

An organ thousandfold, I scarcely then 

Could utter forth my speechless reverence. 

The painter's pencil, and the poet's lip. 

The sweetest that e'er sipp'd the vernal honey, 

I covet now. No ! Tasso shall henceforth 

Wander no more forlorn, 'mong trees and men. 

Lonely and weak, oppress' d with gloomy care ' 

He is no more alone, he is with thee. 



Oh would that visibly the noblest deed 

Were present here before me, circled round 

With grisly danger ! Onward I would rush. 

And with a joyous spirit risk the life 

Now from her hand receiv'd. The choicest iibm 

As comrades I >TOiild hail, a noble band, 

To execute her wiW. aad high behest, 

And consummate w^hat seeni'd impossible. 

Rash mortal ! wherefore did thy lips not hide 

What thou didst feel, till thou couldst lay thysielf 

Worthy, and ever worthier, at her feet ? 

Such was thy purpose, such thy prudent wish ! 

Yet be it so ! 'Tis sweeter to receive, 

Free, and unmerited, so fair a boon, 

Than, with self-flatt'ry, dream one might perchanCc^ 

Successfully have claim' d it. Gaze with joy ! 

So vast, so boundless, all before thee lies ! 

And youth, with hope inspir'd, allures thee on 

Towards the future's unknown, sunny realms ! 

My bosom, heave ! propitious seasons smile 

Once more with genial influence on this plant ) 

It springeth heavenward, and shooteth out 

A thousand branches that unfold in bloom ; 

Oh may it bring forth fruit, — ambrosial fruit ! 

And may a hand belov'd the golden spoil 

Cull, from its verdant and luxuriant boughs . 



A cordial welcome* Sir ! It seems indeed 
As though I saw thee for the first time now 2 
Nor was arrival e'er more gladly hail'd ! 
I know thee now, and all thy varied worth, 
Promptly I offer thee my heart and hand, 
And trust that thou wilt not despise my love* 


Freely thou offerest a precious gift; 
Its worth I duly estimate, and hence 
Would pause awhile before accepting it. 
I know not yet if I can render thee 


A full equivalent. Mot willingly 
Would I o'eriiasty or untliankiui seem ; 
Let then my sober caution serve for both. 


What man would censure caution ? Every step 
Of life doth prove that 'tis most requisite ; 
Yet nobler is it, when the soul reveals, 
"Where we, with prudent foresight, may dispense > 


The heart of each be here his oracle, 
Since each his error must himself atone. 


So let it be ! My duty I've perform'd, 

It is the prinGess' wish we should be friends, 

Her words I honour' d and thy friendship sought. 

I wish'd not to hold back, Antonio, 

But I will never be importunate. 

Time and more near acquaintance may induce thoOj 

To give a warmer welcome to the gift. 

Which now thou dost reject, almost with scorn. 


Oft is the moderate man nam'd cold by those 
Who think themselves more warm than other me'W 
Because a transient glow comes over them. 


Thou blamest what I blame, — what I avoid 
Young as I am I ever must prefer 
Unshaken constancy to vehemence. 


Most wisely said ! Keep ever in this mind. 


Thou'rt authoriz'd to counsel and to warn. 
For, like a faithful, time-approved, friend. 
Experience holds her station at thy side. 
But trust me, Sir, the meditative heart 
Attends the warning of each day and houFj 
And practises in secret ev'ry virtue, 
Which in thy rigour thou wouldst teach ano/. 


Twere well to be thus occupied with self, 
If it were only profitable too. 



His inmost nature no man learns to ]:no •>* 
By introspection ; still he rates himself, 
Sometimes too low, but oft, alas ! too hicho 
Self-knowledge comes from knowing other niea % 
'Tis life reveals to each his genuine worth. 


I listen with assent and reverence. 


Yet to my words I know thou dost attach 
A meaning wholly foreign to my thought. 


Proceeding thus, we ne'er shall draw more noa::-. 
It is not prudent, 'tis not well, to meet 
With purpos'd misconception any man, 
Let him be who he may ! The Princess' word 
I scarcely needed ; — I have read thy soul. 
Good thou dost purpose and accomplish too. 
Thine ovm immediate fate concerns thee not ; 
Thou think' st of others, others thou dost aid. 
And on life's sea, vexed by each passing gale. 
Thou hold'st a heart unmov'd. I view thee th'dS 5 
What then were I, did I not draw tow'rds thee ? 
Did I not even keenly seek a share 
Of the lock'd treasure which thy bosom guards ? 
Open thine heart to me, thou'lt not repent ; 
Know me, and I am sure thou'lt be my friend : 
Of such a friend I long have felt the need. 
My inexperience, my ungovern'd youth 
Cause me no shame ; for still around my brow 
The future's golden clouds in brightness rest. 
Oh! to thy bosom take me, noble man ; 
Into the wise, the temperate use of life 
Initiate my rash and unfledg'd youth. 


Thou in a single moment would'st demand 
What time and circumspection only yield. 


In one brief moment love has power to give 
What anxious toil wins not in lengthen'd years, 
I do not ask it from thee, I demand. 
I summon thee in Virtue's sacred name. 


For slie is zealous to unite the good ; 

And shall I name to thee another name *f 

The Princess, she doth wish it. — Leonora, 

Me she would lead to thee, and thee to me. 

Oh, let us meet her wish with kindred hearts I 

United let us to the goddess haste. 

To ojffer her our service, our whole souls 

Leagued to achieve for her the noblest aims. 

Yet once again ! — Here is my hand ! Give thiue ! 

I do entreat, hold thyself back no longer ! 

And grudge me not the good man's fairest joy 

Freely to yield himself to nobler men ! 


Thou goest on full sail ! It would appear 
Thou'rt wont to conquer, everywhere to find 
The pathways spacious and the portals wide. 
I grudge thee not or merit or success, — 
But we yet stand I see too far apart. 


It may be so in years and time-tried worth ; — 
In courage and goodwill I yield to none. 


Goodwill doth oft prove deedless ; corn-age still 
Pictures the goal less distant than it is. 
His brow alone is crown' d who reaches it, 
And oft the worthiest must forego the crown. 
Yet wreaths there are of very different fashiou ; 
Light, worthless wreaths, which, idly strolling oil. 
The loiterer oft without the toil obtains. 


Yet what a God doth freely grant to one. 
And from another sternly doth withhold, 
Is not obtain' d by each man as he lists. 


If to a God, — ascribe it then to Fortune. 
I'U hear thee gladly, for her choice is blind. 


Impartial Justice also wears a band 

And shuts her eyes to ev'ry bright illusijn. 


Fortune 'tis for the fortunate to praise ! 


Let him ascribe to her a hundred eyes 

To scan desert, — stern judgment, and ^vise choi(Mfe 

Call her Minerva, call her what he will, 

He holds as just reward her golden gifts, 

Chance ornament as symbol of desert. 


Thou need'st not speak more plainly. *Tis enough 

Deeply I see into thine inmost heart, 

And know thee now for life. Oh would that so 

My princess knew thee also ! Lavish not 

The arrows of thine eyes and of thy tongue ! 

In vain thou aimest at the fadeless weath 

Entwin'd around my brow. First be so great 

As not to envy me the wreath of fame, 

And then perchance thou may'st dispute the pii^. 

I deem it sacred, yea, the highest good ; 

Yet only show me him who hath attain' d 

That after which I strive ; show me the hero. 

Of whom on hist'ry's ample page I read ; 

The poet place before me, who himself 

With Homer or with Virgil may compare ; 

Ay, what is more, let me behold the man 

Who hath deserv'd threefold this recompense, 

And yet can wear the laurel round his brow. 

With modesty thrice greater than my own,— 

Then at the feet of the divinity 

Who thus endow' d me, thou should' st see me kuc^L 

Nor would I stand erect, till from my brow. 

She had transferr'd the ornament to his. 


Till then thou'rt doubtless worthy of the crown, 


Let me be justly weigh' d ; I shun it not ; 
But your contempt I never have deserv'd. 
The wreath considered by my prince my due. 
Which for my brow my princess' hand entv/in'd. 
None shall dispute with me, and none asperse i 


rhis haughty tone, met] links, becomes thee not. 
Nor this rash glow, unseemly in this place. 



The tone thou here assum'st beseems me too. 

Say, from these precincts is the truth exiFd ? 

Within the palace is free thought imprison' d ? 

Here must the noble spirit be oppress' d ? 

This is nobility's appropriate seat, 

The soul's nobility ! and may she not 

In presence of earth's mighty ones, rejoice? 

She may and shall. Nobles draw near the prince 

In virtue of the rank their sires bequeath' d ; 

Why should not genius then, which partial natiu'O 

Grants, like a glorious ancestry, to few ? 

Here littleness alone should feel confus'd, 

And envy shun to manifest its shame, 

As no insidious spider should attach 

Its noisome fabric to these marble walls. 


Thyself dost show that my contempt is just 

The impetuous youth, forsooth, would seize by forc^ 

The confidence and friendship of the man ! 

Rude as thou art, dost think thyself of worth ? 


I'd rather be what thou esteemest rude, 
Than what I must myself esteem ignoble. 


Thou'rt still so young that wholesome chastisement 
May tutor thee to hold a better course. 


Not young enough to bow to idols down, 
Yet old enough to conquer seorn with scorn. 


From contests of the lips and of the lyre 
A conquering hero, thou may'st issue forth. 


It were presumptuous to extol my arm ; 
As yet 'tis deedless ; still I'll trust to it. 


Thou trustest to forbearance, which too long 
Hath spoird thee in thine insolent career. 




That 1 am grown to manliood, now I feel: 

It would have been the farthest from my wish 

To try with thee the doubtful game of arms. 

But thou dost stir tne inward fire ; my blood, 

My inmost marrow boils ; the fierce desire 

Of vengeance seeths and foams within my breast. 

Art thou the man thou boast' st thyself, — then stand 


Thou know'st as little who, as where thou art. 


No fane so sacred as to shield contempt. 
Thou do^ blaspheme, thou dost profane this spot, 
Not I, who fairest ofierings, — confidence, 
Respect, and love, for thine acceptance brought. 
Thy spirit desecrates this paradise ; 
And thy injurious words this sacred hall ; 
Not the indignant heaving of my breast, 
Which boils to wipe away the slightest stain. 


What a great spirit in a narrow breast ! 


Here there is space to vent the bosom's rage. 


The rabble also vent their rage in words. 


Art thou of noble blood as I am, draw. 


I am, but I remember where I stand. 


Come then below, where weapons may avail. 


Thou should'st not challenge, therefore I'll not follow* 


To cowards welcome such impediments. 


The coward only threats where he's secure. 


With joy would I relinquish this defence. 


Demean tlyself ; degrade the place thou can's! noL 




The place forgive me that I suffer' d it! 

[He draws his sword. 

Or draw or follow, if, as now I hate, 
I'm not to scorn thee to eternity ! 



In what milook'd for strife I find you both ? 


Calm and unmov'd, oh Prince, thou finds't me here. 
Before a man whom passion's rage hath seized. 


As a divinity I worship thee 

That thus thou tam'st me with one warning look* 


Helate, Antonio, Tasso, tell me straight;— 
Say, why doth discord thus invade my house? 
How hath it seized you both, and hurried you 
Confus'd and reeling, from the beaten track 
Of decency and law? I stand amazed. 


I feel it, thou dost know nor him, nor me. 

This man, reputed temperate and wise. 

Hath tow'rds me, like a rude, ill-manner'd churl, 

Behav'd himself with spiteful insolence. 

I sought him trustfully, he thrust me back; 

With constancy I press' d myself on him, 

And still, with growing bitterness imbued, 

He rested not till he had turn'd to gall 

My blood's pure current. Pardon! Thou, my Prinoo^ 

Hast found me here, possess' d with furious rage. 

If guilty, to this man the guilt is due; 

With violence he fann'd the fiery glow 

Which, seizing me, hath injur'd both of us, 


Poetic phrenzy hurried him away ! 
Thou hast, oh Prince, address'd thyself to me, 
Me thou hast question'd : may I be allow'd 
After this rapid orator to speak? 





Oh, yes, repeat again each several word ! 
And if thou can'st recall before this judge 
Each syllable, each look, — ^then dare to do S3 1 
Disgrace thyself a second time, and bear 
Witness against thyself! I'll not disown 
A single pulse-throb, nor a single breath. 


If thou hast somewhat more to say, proceed ; 

If not, forbear, and interrupt me not. 

Whether at first this fiery youth or I 

Began this quarrel, whether he or I 

Must bear the blame, is a wide question, Princes 

Which stands apart, and need not be discuss' d. 


How SO ? The primal question seems to me. 
Which of the two is right and which is wrong, 


Not so precisely, as th' ungovern'd mind 
Might first suppose. 


Antonio ! 


Gracious Prince ! 
Thy hint I honour ; but let him forbear : 
When I have spoken, he may then proceed ; 
Thy voice must then decide. I've but to say, 
I can no longer with this man contend ; 
Can nor accuse him, nor defend myself. 
Nor give the satisfaction he desires ; 
For as he stands, he is no longer free. 
There hangeth over him a heavy law, 
Which, at the most, thy favour can relax. 
Here he hath dar'd to threaten me, to challenge, 
Scarce in thy presence sheath' d his naked sword ; 
And if between us. Prince, thou had'st not stepp'dj 
Obnoxious to reproof I now had stood. 
Before thy sight, the partner of his fault. 


rhpu hast not acted well. 



Mine own heart, Prince, 
And surely thine, doth speak me wholly free. 
Yes, true it is, I threaten'd, challenged, drew ' 
But how maliciously his guileful tongue. 
With words well chosen, pierc'd me to the quick ; 
How sharply and how quick his biting tooth 
The subtle venom in my blood infus'd ; 
How more and more the fever he inflam'd, 
Thou thinkest not ! cold and unmov'd himself, 
He to the highest pitch excited me. 
Thou know' St him not, and thou wilt never know liini ! 
Warmly I tender' d him the truest love ; 
Down at my feet he flung the profier'd gift; 
And had my spirit not with anger glow'd, 
Of thy fair service and thy princely grace 
I were for aye unworthy. If the law 
I have forgotten, and this place, — forgive ! 
The spot exists not where I dare be base, 
Nor yet where I debasement dare endure. 
But if this heart in any place be false. 
Or to itself or thee, — condemn, reject, — 
And let me ne'er again behold thy face. 


How easily the youth bears heavy loads. 

And shaketh misdemeanours off like dust ! 

It were indeed a marvel, knew I not 

Of magic poesy the wondrous power. 

Which loveth still with the impossible 

In frolic mood to sport. I almost doubt 

Whether to thee, and to thy ministers. 

This deed will seem so insignificant. 

For royalty extends its shield o'er all 

Who seek the shelter of its sacred fane, 

And bow before it as a deity. 

As at the altar's consecrated foot. 

So on the regal threshold rage subsides ; 

No sword there gleams, no threat' ning word resoundg, 

E'en injur'd innocence seeks no revenge. 

The common earth affords an ample scope 

For bitter hate, and rage implacable. 



There will no coward threat, no true man £ee ; 
Thy ancestors, on sure foundations bas'd 
These walls, fit shelter for their dignity ; 
And, with wise forecast, hedg'd the palace round 
With fearful penalties. Of all transgressors, 
Exile, confinement, death, the certain doom. 
Kespect of persons was not, nor did mercy 
The arm of justice venture to restrain. 
The boldest culprit felt himself o'erawed. 
And now, after a lengthen' d reign of peace, 
We must behold unlicens'd rage invade 
The realm of sacred order. Judge, oh Prince, 
And punish ! for unguarded by the law, 
Unshielded by his So v' reign, who will dare 
To keep the narrow path that duty bounds. 


More than yom- words, or aught that ye could say^ 

My own impartial feelings let me heed. 

If that your duty ye had both fulfill'd, 

I should not have this judgment to pronounce ; 

For here the right and wrong are near allied. 

If that Antonio has offended thee 

Due satisfaction he must doubtless give, 

In such a sort as thou shalt choose to ask. 

I gladly would be chosen arbiter. 

[2b TASSO. 

Meanwhile thy misdemeanour subjects thee 
To brief confinement, Tasso. I forgive thee, 
And therefore, for thy sake, relax the law. 
Now leave us, and within thy chamber bide. 
Thyself thy sole companion, thy sole guard. 


Is this, then, thy judicial sentence, Prftice ? 


Discern' st thou not a father's lenity ? 


With thee, henceforth, I have no more to say. 


Thine earnest word, oh Prince, delivers me, 

A freeman, to captivity. So be it ! 

Thou deem'st it right. Thy sacred word I hear 


And counsel silence to mine inmost heart. 

It seems so strange, so strange, — myself and thee, 

This sacred spot, I scarce can recognize. 

Yet him I know full well. — Oh, there is much 

I might and ought to say, yet I submit. 

My lips are mute. Was it indeed a crime ? 

At least, they treat me as a criminal. 

Howe'er my heart rebel, I'm captive now. 


Thou tak'st it, Tasso, more to heart than I. 


To me it still is inconceivable ; 

And yet not so, I am no child. Methinks 

I should be able to unravel it. 

A sudden light breaks in upon my soul ; — 

As suddenly it leaves me in the dark ;— 

I only hear my sentence and submit. 

These are, indeed, superfluous, idle words. 

Henceforth inure thy spirit to obey. 

Weak mortal ! To forget where thou didst stand ^ 

Thou didst forget how high the abode of gods, 

And now art stagger'd by the sudden fall. 

Promptly obey, for it becomes a man 

Each painful duty to perform with joy. 

Take back the sword which I receiv'd from thee, 

When ill the card'nal's suit I went to France ; 

Though not with glory, not with shame I wore it,- 

No, not to-day. The bright auspicious gift, 

With heart sore troubled, I relinquish now. 


Thou know'st not, Tasso, how I feel towards thee.. 


My lot is to obey, and not to think ! 
And destiny alas ! demands from me 
Renunciation of this precious gift. 
Ill doth a crown become a captive's brow. 
I from my head myself remove the wreath 
Which seem'd accorded for eternity. 
Too early was the dearest bliss bestow'd, 
And is, alas, as if I had been boastful. 
Too early ta'en away, 



Thou takest back what none beside conld take. 

And what no God a second time accords. 

"We mortals are most wonderfully tried ; 

We could not bear it, were we not endow'd, 

By Nature, with a kindly levity. 

Capricious fortune teaches us to play 

VVith priceless gifts, with lavish unconcern. 

bur hands we open of our own free will, 

A-nd the good flies that we can ne'er recall. 

A tear doth mingle with this parting kiss, 

Devoting thee to mutability ! 

This tender sign of weakness may be pardon' d ! 

Who would not weep when what was deem'd immortal 

Yields to destruction's power ! Now to this sword 

(Alas, it won thee not,) ally thyself, 

And round it twin'd, as on a hero's bier, 

Reposing, mark the grave where buried lie 

My short-liv'd happiness, my wither'd hopes. 

Here at thy feet, oh Prince, I lay them down ; 

For who is justly arm'd if thou art wrath ? 

Who justly crown'd, on whom thy brow is bent? 

I go a captive, and await my doom. 


\_0n a sign from the Prince^ a Page raises the sword 
and wreath and bears them away, 



Whither doth phrenzied fancy lead the boy ? 

And in what colours doth he picture forth 

His high desert and glorious destiny ? , 

Rash, inexperienc'd, youth esteems itself 

A chosen instrument, and arrogates 

Unbounded license. He has been chastis'd, 

And chastisement is profit to the boy, 

For which the man will render cordial thanks. 


He is indeed chastis'd, too much I fear. 


Art tliou dispos'd to practice lenity, 

Restore again his liberty, my Prince, 

And then the sword may arbitrate our strife. 


So be it, if the public voice demands. 

But tell me, how didst thou provoke his ire ? 


In sooth, I scarce can say how it befel. 

As man, I may perchance have wounded him. 

As nobleman, I gave him no offence. 

And in the very tempest of his rage, 

No word unseemly hath escap'd this lip. 


Of such a sort your quarrel seem'd to me ; 
And your own word confirms me in my though':. 
When men dispute we justly may esteem 
The wiser the offender. Thou with Tasso 
Should' st not contend, but rather guide his stepc* 
It would become thee more. 'Tis not too late. 
The sword's decision is not call'd for here. 
So long as I am bless' d with peace abroad, 
So long would I enjoy it in my house. 
Kestore tranquillity, thou can'st with ease. 
Leonora Sanvitale may at first 
Attempt to sooth him with her honied lip. 
Then go thou to him ; in my name restore 
His liberty ; with true and noble words 
Endeavour to obtain his confidence. 
Accomplish this with all the speed thou can'sto 
As a kind friend and father speak with him. 
Peace I would know restor'd ere I depart : 
All if thou wilt — is possible to thee. 
We gladly will remain another hour, 
Then leave it to the ladies' gentle tact 
To consummate the work commenc'd by thcc. 
So when we come again, the last faint trace 
Of this rash quarrel will be quite effac'd. 
It seems thy talents will not rust, Antonio ! 
Scarcely hast thou concluded one affair 
And on thy first return thou seek'st another. 
In this new mission may success be thine ! 



I am asham'd ; my error in thy words 

As in the clearest mirror, I discern. 

How easy to obey a noble prince 

Who doth convince us while he doth command!. 


PRINCESS, {alone,) 
Where tarries Leonora ? Anxious fear, 
Augmenting every moment, agitates 
My inmost heart. Scarce know I what took plaec ; 
Which party is to blame I scarcely know. 
Oh, that sh'e would return ! I would not yet 
Speak with my brother or Antonio 
Till I am more compos' d, till I have heard 
How matters stand, and what may be the issue. 



What tidings, Leonora ? Tell me aU : 

How stands it with our friends ? Say, what ocourr'd • 


More than I knew before I have not learn' d. 
Contention rose between them ; Tasso drew ; 
Thy brother parted them : yet it would seem 
That it was Tasso who began the fray. 
Antonio is at large, and with his Prince 
Converses freely. Tasso, in his chamber, 
Abides meanwhile, a captive and alone. 


Doubtless Antonio irritated him, 

And met with cold disdain the high-ton'd youtii. 


I do believe it, when he join'd us first 
A cloud already brooded o'er his brow. 


Alas, that we're so prone to disregard 

The still and holy warnings of the heart ! 

A God doth whisper softly in our breast, 

Softly yet audibly, doth counsel us, 

Both what wo ought to seek and what to sh\iii. 

This morn Antonio hath appear' d to me 

E'en more abrupt than ever, — more reserved. 

When at his side I saw our youthful bard, 

My spirit wam'd me. Only mark of each 

The outward aspect ; — countenance and tone 

Look, gesture, bearing ! Everything oppos'd , 

Affection they can never interchange. 

And yet I listen' d to delusive Hope ; 

They both are sensible, she fondly urg'd, 

Both noble, gently nurtur'd, and thy friends. 

What bond more sure than that which links the good?' 

I urg'd the youth ; with what devoted zeal. 

How ardently he gave himself to me ! 

Would I had spoken to Antonio then ! 

But I delay'd: So recent his return. 

That I felt shy, at once and urgently. 

To recommend the youth to his regard ; 

On custom I relied and courtesy, 

And on the common usage of the world. 

Which e'en twixt foes so smoothly intervenes. 

I dreaded not from the experienc'd man, 

The rash impehiosity of youth. 

The ill seem'd distant, now, alas, 'tis here. 

Oh give me counsel ! What is to be done ? 


Thy words, my Princess, show that thou dost feel 
How hard it is to counsel. 'Tis not here 
A misconception twixt congenial minds ; 
This words, if needful the appeal to arms. 
Might easily set right. Two men they ai'e, 
I've felt it long, who therefore are oppos'd, 
Because their ^imds are cast in different moulds. 
And were they to consult their common weal. 
They'd form a league of closest amity ; 
Then as one man they'd act, and onward move 



With power, and joy, and happiness through life. 
I hop'd it once, I now perceive in vain. 
To-day's contention, whatsoe'er the cause, 
Might be appeas'd, but this assures us not. 
Or for the morrow, or for future time. 
Methinks 'twere best, that Tasso for awhile 
Should journey hence ; he might repair to Romo^ 
Or visit Florence, I should meet him there 
And as a friend could work upon his mind. 
While thou, meanwhile, could'st bring Antonio, 
Who has become almost a stranger to us, 
Once more within the circle of thy friends. 
And thus benignant time, that grants so much, 
Might grant, perchance, what seems impossible^ 


A happiness will thus, my friend, be thine. 
Which I must needs forego ; say, is that right ? 


Thou only would' st forego what thou thyself 
As things at present stand, could'st not enjoy. 


So calmly shall I banish hence a friend } 


Rather retain, whom thou dost seem to banish. 


The duke will ne'er consent to part with him. 


Wlien he shall see as we do, he will yield, 


'Tis painful in one's friend to doom oneself. 


Yet with thy friend, thou'lt also save thyself, 


I cannot give my voice that this shall be. 


An evil still more grievous then expect. 


Thou giv'st me pain, — ^uncertain thy succesc* 


Ere long we shall discover which isr ri^ht. 



Well, if it needs must be so. say no more. 


He conquers gnef, who firmly can resolvt. 


Resolv'd I'm not; but even let it be, 

If he does not absent himself too long. 

And let us, Leonora, care for him. 

That he may never be oppress' d by want, 

But that the duke, e'en in a distant land. 

May graciously assign him maintenance. 

Speak to Antonio ; with my brother he 

Can much accomplish, and will not remember 

The recent strife against our friend or us. 


Princess, a word from thee would have more power 


I cannot, well thou knowest, Leonora, 

Solicit favours for myself and friends. 

As my dear sister of Urbino can. 

A calm, secluded life I'm fain to lead, 

And from my brother gratefully accept, 

Whate'er his princely bounty freely grants 

For this reluctance once I blam'd myself: 

I've conquer' d now, and blame myself bo more* 

My friends too would oft censure me and say, 

Unselfishness is doubtless beautiful, 

But thou art so disinterested, that even 

Thy friends' necessities thou can'st not feel. 

I let it pass, and suffer'd the reproach. 

I am the more rejoic'd that I can now 

Be of substantial service to our friend ; 

My mother's heritage descends to me, 

And to his need I'll gladly minister. 


Princess, too can show myself his friend. 

In truth lie is no thrifty manager ; 

My skilful aid shall help him where he faiL% 


Well take him then, — if I must part with hiru; 
Tore all, I would resign him unto thee : 



I now perceive, it will be better so. 

This sorrow also must my spirit hail 

As good and wholesome ? Such my doom from yoiitii 5 

I am inm-'d to it. But half we feel 

Renunciation of a precious joy, 

When we have deem'd its tenure insecure, 


Happy according to thy high desert 
I hope to see thee. 


Leonora ! Happy ? 
Who then is happy ? — So indeed I migL 
Esteem my brother, for his constant mir. 
Still with unswerving temper meets his fate ; 
Yet even he ne'er reap'd as he deserv'd. 
My sister of Urbino, is she happy ? 
With beauty gifted and a noble heart ! 
Childless she's doom'd to live ; her younger lord 
Values her highly and upbraids her not ; 
But happiness is stranger to their home. 
Of what avail our mother's prudent skill, 
Her varied knowledge and her ample mind ? 
Could they protect from foreign heresy ? 
We were ta'en from her : now she is no more 
And dying, left us not the soothing thought, 
That reconcil'd with God, her spirit pass'd. 


Oh mark not only that which fails to each ; 

Consider rather what to each remains ! 

And Princess, what doth not remain to thee ? 


What doth remain to me, Leonora ? Patience ! 
Which I have learn' d to practise from my youth* 
When friends and kindred, knit in social love. 
In joyous pastime wil'd the hours away, 
Sickness held me a captive in my chamber ; 
And in the sad companionship of pain, 
I early learn'd the lesson ; — to endure ! 
One pleasure cheer' d me in my solitude, 
The joy of song. I commun'd with myself. 
And luU'd with soothing tones, the sense of pauL 


The restless longing, the unquiet wish ; — 
Till sorrow oft would grow to ravishmeut,, 
And sadness self to harmony divine. 
Not long, alas ! this confort was allow' 
The leech's stem monition silenc'd me ; 
I was condemned to live and to endure 
E'en of this sole remaining joy bereft. 


Yet many Mends attach' d themselves to thoc, 
And now thou art in health, and joyous too. 


I am in health, that is, I am not sick ; 
And many friends I have, whose constancy 
Doth cheer my heart ; and ah, I had a friend — 


Thou hast him still. 


But soon must part with him. 
That moment was of deep significance 
When first I saw him. Scarce was I restored 
From many sorrows ; sickness and dull pain 
Were scarce subdued, with shy and timid glanee 
I gaz'd once more on life, once more rejoic'd 
In the glad sunshine, and my kindred's love, 
And hope's delicious balm inhal'd anew ; 
Forwards I ventur'd into life to gaze, 
And friendly forms saluted me from far : 
Then was it, Leonora, that my sister 
First introduc'd to me the youthful bard, 
She led him hither, and, shall I confess ?— 
My heart embrac'd him, and will hold for aye. 


My Princess ! Let it not repent thee now 3 

To apprehend the noble is a gam 

Of which the soul can never be bereft. 


E'en what is excellent we needs must fear ; 
'Tis like a flame, which nobly serveth us 
So long as on our household hearth it bums, 
Or sheds its lustre from the friendly torch. 
How lovely then ! Who can dispense with it ? 
But if unwatch'd, it >spreads destruction round. 



What anguisli it occasions ! Leave me no^*; 
I babble, and 'twere better to conceal 
Even from thee, how weak I am and sick. 


The sickness of the heart doth soonest yield 
To tender plaints, and soothing confidence. 


If in confiding love a cure be found, 

I'm whole, so strong my confidence in thoc* 

Alas ! my friend, I am indeed resolv'd ; 

liCt him depart ! But ah ! I feel already 

The long protracted anguish of the day 

When I must all forego that glads me now. 

His beauteous form, transfigur'd in my dreatru 

The morning sun will dissipate no more ; 

No more the blissful hope of seeing him. 

With joyous longing, fill my waking sense ; 

Nor to discover him, my timid glance 

Search wistfully our garden's dewy shade. 

How sweetly was the tender hope fulfill' d 

To spend each eve in intercom'se with him ! 

How, while conversing, the desire increas'd, 

To know each other ever more and more ; 

And still our souls, in sweet communion joiu.'d 

Were daily tun'd to purer harmonies. 

What twilight-gloom now falls around my pa&li ' 

The gorgeous sun, the genial light of day, 

Of this fair world the splendours manifold, 

Shorn of their lustre, are enveloped all. 

In the dark mist, which now environs me. 

In by-gone times, each day compris'd a life ; 

Hush'd was each care, mute each foreboding voic^e^v 

And happily embark' d, we drifted on 

Without a rudder, o'er life's lucid wave. 

Now, in the darkness of the present hour, 

Futurity's vague terrors seize my soul. 


The future will restore to thee thy friend ; 
And thou wilt find new happiness, new joy. 


What I possess, that would I gladly hold ; 
Change may divert the mind, but profits not. 


With youthful longings I have never joii: d 
The motley throng who strive from fortune's urn 
To s.uateh an object for their craving hearts. 
I nonour'd him, and could not choose but love hiiii> 
For that with him my life was life indeed, 
Filled w'th a joy I never knew before. 
At first 1 whisper d to my heart, beware ! 
Shrinking I shunn'd, yet ever drew more near. 
So gently lm*'d, so cruelly chastis'd ! 
A pure substantial blessing glides away, 
And for the joy that filled my yearning heart. 
Some demon substitutes a kindred pain 


If friendship's soothing words console thee not 

This beauteous world's, calm power, and healing tiuio. 

Will imperceptibly restore thy heart. 


Ay, beauteous is the world, and many a joy 

Floats through its wide dominion. But, alas, 

When we would seize the winged good, it flie^. 

And, step by step, along the path of life 

Allures our yearning spirits to the grave. 

To mortal man so seldom is it given 

To find what seem'd his heav'n-appointed bliss ; 

Alas, so seldom he retains the good 

Which, in auspicious hour, his hand had grasp'd ; 

The treasure to our heart that came unsought 

Doth tear itself away, and we ourselves 

yield that which once with eagerness we seiz'd. 

There is a bliss, but 'tis to us unknown — 

'Tis known indeed, but yet we prize it not. 

liEONORA, {alone.) 
The good and noble heart my pity moves ; 
How sad a lot attends her lofty rank ! 
Alas she loses, — ^thinkest thou to win ? 
Is his departure hence so requisite ? 
Or dost thou urge it for thyself alone, — 
To make the heart and lofty genius thine, 
Which now thou sharest, — and unequally ? 


Is't honest so to act ? What lack'st thou yet ? 

Art thou not rich enough ? Husband and sou, 

Possessions, beauty, rank — all these thou hast, 

And him would'st have beside? What ! liov'st thcu hii:; ' 

How comes it else that thou can'st not endure 

To live without him ? This thou dar'st confess ! 

How charming is it in his mind's clear depths 

Oneself to mirror. Doth not ev'ry joy 

Seem doubly great and noble, when his song 

Wafts us aloft as on the clouds of heav'n ? 

Then first thy lot is worthy to be envied ! 

Not only hast thou what the many crave. 

But each one knoweth what thou art and hast ! 

Thy fatherland doth proudly speak thy name ; 

This is the pinnacle of earthly bliss. 

Is Laura's then the only favour* d name 

That aye from gentle lips shall sweetly flow ? 

Is it Petrarca's privilege alone, 

To deify an unknown beauty's charms ? 

Who is there that with Tasso can compare ? 

As now the world exalts him, future time 

With honour due shall magnify his name. 

What rapture, in the golden prime of life 

To feel his presence, aud with him to near, 

With airy tread, the future's hidden realm ! 

Thus should old age and time their influence lose, 

And powerless be the voice of rumour bold, 

Whose breath controls the billows of applause. 

All that is transient in his song survives ; 

Still art thou young, still happy, when the round 

Of changeful time shall long have borne thee on. 

Him thou shalt have, and yet take nought from her. 

For her affection to the gifted man 

Doth take the hue her other passions wear; 

Pale as the tranquil moon, whose feeble rays 

Dimly illumine the night- wanderer's path. 

They gleam, but warm not, and diffuse around 

No blissful rapture, no keen sense of joy. 

If she but know him happy, though afar, 

She will rejoice as when she saw him daily 

And then, tis not ryiv pui'pose from this coiwrt. 


And her, to banish both myself and friend. 
I will return, will bring him here again. 
So let it be ! — My rugged friend draws near ; 
We soon shall see if we have power to tame hiui. 



War and not peace thou bringest. 'Twould appear 
As though thou earnest from the tented field. 
Where violence bears sway, and force decides, 
And not from Rome, where solemn policy 
Uplifts the hand to bless a prostrate world 
Which she beholds obedient at her feet. 


I must admit the censure, my fair friend, 

But my apology lies close at hand ; 

'Tis dangerous to be compell'd so long 

To wear the show of prudence and restraint. 

Still at our side an evil genius lurks 

And with stern voice, demands from time to time 

A sacrifice, which I alas to day 

Have offered, to the peril of my friends. 


So long hast thou with strangers been concerned, 
And to their humours hast conform *d thine own, 
That when with friends thou dost mistake their aims. 
And dost contend with them as they were strangers r 


Herein, beloved friend, the danger lies ! 

With strangers we are ever on our guard, 

Still are we aiming with observance due, 

To win their favour, which may profit us ; 

But with our friends, we tluow ufi'idl restraint; 

Reposing in their love, we give the rein 

To peevish humour ; passion unconti'oll'd 

Doth break its bounds ; and those we hoJi most dear 

Are thus amongst the first whom we odPjnd. 


In this calm utt'rance of a thoughtful mind 
I gladly recognize my friend again. 

r 2 




Ves, it lias mu€li annoy* d me, I confess, 

That I so far forgot myself to day. 

But yet admit, that when some man of toil, 

From ii'ksome labom- eoiTies, Avith heated brow. 

Thinking to rest himself for further toil. 

Beneath the long'd-for shade, in the cool eveniiiij 

And finds it, in its length and breadth, possessed 

Ali-eady, by some idler, he may well, 

Feel something human stirring in his breast ? 


If he is truly huinan, then, methinks. 
He gladly will partake the shade with one 
Who lightens toil, and cheers the hour of rest. 
With sweet discourse and soothing melodies. 
Ample, my friend, for both, the spreading shade, 
Nor either needs the other dispossess. 


We will not bandy similes, fair friend. 

The world containeth many things that we 

To others freely yield and with them share ; 

But there exists one treasure we resign 

With willing hearts to high desert alone ; 

Another too, that without secret grudge, 

We share not even with the highest worth. 

And would' st thou touching these two treasures ask. 

They are the laurel, and fair woman's smile. 


How ! Hath yon chaplet round our stripling's brow 

Giv'n umbrage to the grave, experienc'd, man r 

Say, for his toil divine, his lofty verse. 

Could" st thou thyself a juster meed select ? 

A ministration in itself divine. 

That floatetli in the air in tuneful tones. 

Evoking airy forms to charm our souls — 

Such ministration, in expressive form. 

Or graceful symbol, finds its fit reward. 

As doth the bard scarce deign to touch the eartli. 

So doth the laurel lightly touch his brow. 

His worshippers, with barren homage, bring 

As tribute meet, a fruitless branch, that thup 


With ease ihey may acquit them of their debt. 
Thou dost not grudge the martyr's effigy, 
The golden radiance round the naked head ; 
And, certes, where it rests, the laurel crown 
more a sign of sorrow than of joy. 


How, Leonora ! Would thy lovely lips 
Teach me to scorn the world's poor vanitiee ? 


There is no need, my friend, to tutor thee 
To prize each good according to its worth. 
Yet it would seem, that e'en like common men. 
The sage philsopher, from time to time, 
Needs that the treasures he is blest withal. 
In their true Hght before him be display'd. 
Thou, noble man, wilt not assert thy claim 
To a mere empty phantom of renown. 
The service that doth bind thy prince to thee. 
By means of which thou dost attach thy friends. 
Is true, is living service, hence the meed 
Which doth reward it, must be living too. 
Thy laurel is thy sovereign's confidence. 
Which, like a cherish' d burden, gracefully, 
Reposes on thy shoulders, — thy renown, 
Thy crown of glory, is the general trust. 


Thou speakest not of woman's smile, that, surely> 
Thou wilt not tell us is superfluous. 


As people take it. Thou dost lack it not ; 

And were ye both depriv'd of it, me thinks, 

Thou would' st less miss it, than our youthful friend. 

For, should a woman undertake to task 

Her skill in thy behalf, to care for thee 

In her own fashion, think' st thou she'd succeed ? 

With thee security and order dwell ; 

And as for others, for thyself thou carest ; 

Thou dost possess what friendship fain would give ; 

Whilst in our province he requires our aid. 

A thousand things he needs, which to supply, 

Is to a woman no un welcome task. 



The fine-spun linen, the embroidered vest 
He weareth gladly, and endureth not, 
Upon his person, aught of texture rude. 
Such as befits the menial. For with him 
All must be rich and noble, fair and good ; 
And yet all this to win, he lacks the skill ; 
Nor even when possess' d, can he retain ; 
Improvident, he's still in want of gold ; 
Nor from a journey e'er returneth home, 
But a third portion of his goods is lost. 
His valet plunders him, and thus, Antonio, 
The whole year round one has to care for him. 


And these same cares endear him more and mov3* 
Much favour' d youth, to whom his very faults 
As virtues count, to whom it is allow'd 
As man to play the boy, and v/ho forsooth 
May proudly boast his charming weaknesses ! 
Thou must forgive me, my fair friend, if here 
Some little touch of bitterness I feel. 
Thou say'st not all, say'st not how he presumes. 
And proves himself far shrewder than he seems. 
He boasts two tender flames ! The knots of lovi\ 
As fancy prompts him, he doth bind and loose. 
And wins Avith such devices two such hearts ! 
Is't .credible ? 


Well ! Well ! This only prove? 
That 'tis but friendship that inspires our hearts. 
And e'en if we return' d him love for love. 
Should we not well reward his noble heart, 
Who, self-oblivious, dreams his life away 
In lovely visions to enchant his friends ? 


Go on ! Go on ! Spoil him yet more and mov?^ 
Account his selfish vanity for love ; 
Offend all other friends, with honest zeal 
Devoted to your service ; rend apart 
The golden links of social confidence ! 


We are not quite so partial as thou think'pt ; 



In many cases we exhort our friend. 

We wish to mould his mind, that he may know 

More happiness himself, and be a source 

Of purer joy to others. What in him 

Doth merit blame, is not conceal' d from us. 


Yet much that's blamable in him ye praise. 

I've known him long, so easy 'tis to know him, 

For he's too proud to wear the least disguise. 

We see him now retire into hin. self, 

As if the world were rounded in his breast ; 

Lost in the working of that inner world, 

The outward universe he casts aside. 

And his rapt spirit, self-included, rests. 

Anon, as when a spark doth fire a mine. 

Upon a touch of sorrow or of joy, 

Anger or whim, he breaks impetuous forth. 

Now he must compass all things, all retain, 

All his caprices must be realiz e! ; 

What should have ripen' d slowly through long yc^ars. 

Must, in a moment, reach maturity ; 

And obstacles, which years of patient toil 

Could scarce remove, be levell d in a trice 

He from himself th' impossible demands, 

That ne from others may demand it too ; 

Th' extremest limits of existing things 

His soul would hold in contiguity. 

This one man in a million scarce achieves, 

And he is not that man ; at length he falls 

No whit the better, back into himself. 


Himself alone he injures, others not. 


Yet others bo doth outrage grievously. 

Can'st thou deny that in his passion's height. 

Which o'er his spirit oft usurps control, 

He hurls abuse at random, and doth load 

The Prince and e'en the Princess, with revilirp ? 

True, for a moment only it endures ; 

But then the moment quickly comes again. 

His tongue, as little as his breast, he rules. 




To mo, indeed, it seems advisabL>, 

That he should leave Ferrara for awhile :— 

T'would beneht himself and others too. 


Perchance, — perchance too not. But now, my fri< 

It is not to be thought of. For myself, 

I will not on my shoulders bear the blame. 

It might appear as if I drove him hence. 

I drive him not. As far as I'm concern' d. 

He at the court may tarry undisturb'd; 

And if he wiU be reconcil'd with us, 

And school himself to follow my advice, 

We may live peaceably enough together. 


Now thou dost hope to work upon a mind 
Which lately thou didst look upon as lost. 


We always hope, and still in evly case, 

Tis better far to hope than to despair ; 

For who can calculate the possible ? 

Our Prince esteems him; r e must stay with us ; 

And if we strive to fashion him in vain 

He's not the only one we must endure. 


So free from passion and from prejudice 

I had not thought thee ; — thy conversion's sudclcn 


Age must, my friend, this one advantage claim. 

That, though from error it be not exempt. 

Its balance it recovers speedily. 

Thou didst at first essay to heal the breach 

Between thy friend and me. I urge it now. 

Do what thou can'st to bring him to himself, 

And to restore things to their wonted calm. 

Myself will visit him, when I shall know. 

From thee, that he is tranquil, wlien thou think^st 

My presence will not aggravate the ill. 

But what thou dost, that do within the hour ; 

Alphonso will return to town ere night. 

I must attend him there. Meanwhile, farewell. 



LEONORA, {alone,) 
For once, dear frieud, we are not of one ndud 
Our separate interests go not hand in hand. 
Ill use the time to compass my design, 
And will endeavour to win Tasso. Quick ! 


A Chamher, 
TASSO, {alone.) 
Art th®u awaken' d from a dream, and is 
The fair delusion suddenly dissolved ? 
In the fruirion of the highest joy 
Has sleep o'ermaster'd thee, and does it yet 
Torture and bind thy soul with heavy chains ? 
Ay, thou'rt awake and dream' st. Where now the hours 
That round thy brow with flow'ry garlands play'd ? 
'^he days when unrestrained thy yearning soul 
Freely explor'd the heaven's o'erarching blue? 
Thou'rt living still, art sensible to touch, 
Feelest, yet know'st not if thou livest still. 
Say, for mine own, or for another's fault, 
Am I, as criminal, thus captive here ? 
Have I been guilty that I suffer thus ? 
Is not my fancied crime a merit rather ? 
With kindly feeling I encounter' d him, 
Persuaded, by the heart's delusive hope, 
He must be man who bears a mortal form ; 
With open arms I sped to his embrace. 
And felt no human breast, but bolts and bars. 
Oh, had I but with prudent forecast weigh'd, 
How I most fitly could receive the man. 
Who from the firgt inspir'd me with mistrust ! 
Let me, however, whatsoe'er betide. 
For ever to this one assurance cling : — 
'Twas she herself ! She stood before my view \ 
She spoke to me ! I hearken' d to her voice ! 
Her look, her tone, her words' sweet import, these. 




These are for ever mine ; nor time nor fate, 

Nor ruthless chance can plunder me of these ' 

And if my spirit hath too swiftly soar'd. 

If all too promptly in my breast I gave 

Yent to the flame which now consumes my heart, 

So let it be, — I never can repent, 

E'en though my fortune were for ever wreck' d. 

To her devoted, I obey'd with joy 

The hand that beckon'd me to ruin's brink. 

So let it be ! Thus have I prov'd myself 

Deserving of the precious confidence 

That cheers my soul, — ay, cheers it in this hour, 

When cruel fate unlocks the sable gates 

Of long-protracted woe. — Yes, now tis done ! 

For me the radiant sun of fortune sets, 

Never to rise again ; his glance benign 

The Prince withdraws, and leaves me standing here, 

Abandon'd on this narrow, gloomy path. 

The hateful and ill-boding feather' d throng, 

Obscene attendants upon ancient night, 

Swarm forth and whirl round my devoted head. 

Whither, oh whither, shall I bend my steps, 

To shun the loathsome brood that round me flit, 

And 'scape the dread abyss that yawns before ? 



Dear Tasso, what hath chanc'd ? Hath passion's glow, 

Hath thy suspicious temper urged thee thus ? 

How has it happen'd ? We are all amaz'd. 

Where now thy gentleness, thy suavity, 

Thy rapid insight, thy discernment just. 

Which doth award to every man his due ; 

Thine even mind, which beareth, what to bear 

The wise are prompt, the vain are slow, to leayii; 

The prudent mast'ry over lip and tongue ? 

I scarcely recognize thee now, dear friend. 


And what if all were gone, for ever gone I 
If as a beggar thou should' st meet the friend 


Whom just before thou had'st deem'd opulent. 

Thou speakest truth, I am no more myself, 

Yet am I now as much so as I was. 

It seems a riddle, yet it is not one. 

The tranquil moon, that cheers thee through the ui 

Whose gentle radiance, with resistless power, 

Allures thine eye, thy soul, doth float by day 

An insignificant and pallid cloud. 

In the bright glare of daylight I am lost. 

Ye know me not, I scarcely know myself. 


Such words, dear friend, as thou hast utter'd them, 
I cannot comprehend. Explain thyself. 
Say, hath that rugged man's offensive speech 
So deeply wounded thee, that now thou dost 
Misjudge thyself and us ? Confide in me. 


I'm not the one ofiended. Me thou seest 
Thu« punish'd here because I gave offence. 
The knot of many words the sword would loose 
With promptitude and ease, but I'm not free. 
Thou'rt scarce aware, — >^ay, start not, gentle friend 
'Tis in a prison thou dost meet me here. 
Me, as a schoolboy, doth the Prince chastise. — 
His right I neither can, nor will dispute. 


Thou seemest mov'd beyond what reason warrant?. 


Dost deem me then so weak, so much a child. 
That this occurrence could o'erwhelm me thus ? 
Not what has happen' d wounds me to the quick, 
'Tis what it doth portend, that troubles me. 
Now let my foes conspire ! The field is clear. 


Many thou boldest falsely in suspect ; 

Of this, deal rriend, I have convinc'd myself. 

Even Antonio bears thee no ill-will 

As thou presum'st. The quarrel of to-day— . 


Let that be set aside ; I only view 
Ajitonio as he was and yet remains. 



Still hath his formal wisdom fretted me, 

His proud assumption of the master's toue. 

Careless to learn whether the list'ner s mial 

Does not itself the better track pursue, 

He tutors thee in much which thou thyself 

More truly, deeply feelest; gives no heed 

To what thou sayest, and perverts thy words. 

Misconstrued thus by a proud man, forsooth, 

Who smiles superior from his fancied height 

I am not yet or old or wise enough 

To answer meekly with a patient smile. 

It could not hold, we must at last have brokea; 

The evil greater had it been postpon'd. 

One lord I recognize, who fosters me, 

Him I obey, but own no master else. 

In poesy and thought I will be free, 

In act the world doth limit us enough. 


Yet often with respect he speaks of thee. 


Thou meanest with forbearance, prudent, subtle. 
'Tis that annoys me ; for he knows to use 
Language so smooth and so conditional. 
That seeming praise from him is actual blame. 
And there is nothing so offends my soul. 
As words of commendation from his lips. 


Thou should' st have heard but lately how he spote^ 
Of thee and of the gift which bounteous nature 
So largely hath conferr'd on thee. He feels 
Thy genius, Tasso, and esteems thy worth. 


Trust me, nc selfish spirit can escape 
The torment of base envy. Such a man 
Pardons in others honoui, rank, and wealth ; 
For thus he argues, these thou hast thyself, 
Or thou can'st have them, if thou persevere. 
Or if propitious fortune smile on thee. 
But tliat which Nature can alone bestow. 
Which aye remaineth inaccessible 
T(; toil and patient effort, which nor gold. 



Nor yet the sword, nor stern persistency 

Hath power to wrest, — that he will ne'er forgive. 

Not envy me ? The pedant who aspires 

To seize by force the favour of the muse ? 

Who, when he strings the thoughts of other bard*?. 

Fondly presumes he is a bard himself? 

The Prince's favour he would rather yield, 

Though that he would fain limit to himself. 

Than the rare gift which the celestial powers 

Have granted to the poor, the orphan youth. 


Oh, that thy vision were as clear as mine ! 

Thou read'st him wrongly, thou'rt deceiv'd in iiiiu. 


And if I err, I err with right good will ! 

I count him for my most inveterate foe. 

And should be inconsolable, were I 

Compel!' d to think of him more leniently. 

'Tis foolish in all cases to be just ; 

It is to wrong oneself. Are other men 

Toward us so equitable ? No, oh no ! 

Man's nature, in its narrow scope, demands 

The twofold sentiment of love and hate. 

Requires he not the grateful interchange 

Of day and night, of wakefulness and sleep ? 

No, from henceforward I do hold this man 

The object of my direst enmity ; 

And nought can snatch from me the cherish' d joy 

Of thinking ever worse and worse of him. 


Dear friend, I see not if this feeling last. 
How thou can'st longer tarry at the com't. 
Thou know'st the just esteem in which he's held. 


I'm fuUy sensible, fair friend, how long 
I have already been superfluous here. 


That thou art not, that thou can'st never be ! 
Thou rather knowest how both Prince and Princess 
Rejoice to have thee in their company. 
The sister of Urbino, comes she not, 



As mucli for thine as for her kindred's sake ? 
They all esteem thee, recognize thy worth, 
And each confides in thee without reserve, 


Oh, Leonora ! Call that confidence ! 

Of state affairs has he one single word, 

One earnest word, vouchsaf'd to speak with inc? 

In special cases, when he has advis'd 

Both with the Princess, and with others too, 

To me, though present, no appeal was made. 

The cry was ever then, Antonio comes ! 

Consult Antonio ! To Antonio vrrite ! 


Thanks here, methinks, were juster than complains 
Thus in imchalleng'd freedom leaving thee, 
He to thy genius htting homage pays. 


He lets me rest, because he deems me useless. 


Thou art not useless, e'en though thou dost rcpt. 
Care and vexation, like a child beloved. 
Thou still dost cherish, Tasso, in thy breast. 
It oft has struck me, and the more I think 
The more convinc d I feel ; on this fair soil. 
Where fate auspicious seem'd to plant thy lot, 
Thou dost not flourish. — May I speak, my friend ? 
May I advise thee : — Thou should" st hence depart. 


Spare not thy patient, gentle leech ! Extend 

The draught medicinal, nor think thereon 

If it is bitter. — This consider well, 

Kind, prudent friend, if he can yet be cur'd ! 

I see it all myself, 'tis over now ! 

Him I indeed could pardon, he not me ; 

He's needful to them, I, alas ! am not. 

And he has prudence, I, alas ! have none. 

He workcth to my injury, and I 

Cannot and will not counterwork. My friends 

Leave things to chance, they see things differently. 

They scarcely struggle, who should stoutly fight. 

Thou think' st I should depart, I think so too ; — - 


Then farewell, friends ! — This, too, T must endui'e. 
You're parted from me. — Oh, to me be given 
The courage and the strength to part from you ! 


Seen from a distance things show less confus'd. 
That in the present serve but to perplex. 
Perchance, when absent, thou wilt recognize 
The love which here environs thee, wilt learn 
The worth of friends, and feel how the wide world 
Cannot replace those dearest to the heart. 


I shall experience this ! Alas, I've known 
The world from early youth, how, pressing on, 
She lightly leaves us, helpless and forlorn, 
Like sun and moon and other deities. 


Dear friend, if thou wilt lend an ear to uie. 
This sad experience thou wilt not repeat. 
If I may counsel thee, thou wilt at first 
Repair to Florence, — there thou'lt find a friend 
Will cherish thee most kindl}' — 'tis myself! 
Thither I travel soon to meet my lord, 
And there is nothing would afford us, Tasso, 
A richer pleasure than thy company. 
I need not tell thee, for thyself dost know, 
How noble is the Prince who ruleth there ; 
What men, what women too, our favour' d town 
Doth cherish in her bosom. Thou art silent ! 
Consider well my counsel, and resolve ! 


Full of sweet promise are thy words, dear friend 
And in accordance with my secret wish. 
But 'tis too sudden ; let me pause awhile,— 
Let me consider ! I will soon resolve ! 


I leave thee now, and with the fairest hopee 
For thee, for ur, jmd also for this house. 
Only reflect, and weigh the matter well. 
Scarcely wilt thou devise a better plaii. 




Yet one thing more, tell me, beloved friend, 
How is the Princess minded towards me ? Speak ! 
Was she displeas'd with me ? Give me her words.- — 
Hath she severely blam'd me ? Tell me all ! 


She knows thee well, and therefore has excus'd thee 


Say, have I lost her friendship ? Flatter not. 


A woman's friendship's not so lightly lost. 


And will she let me go without reluctance 


If 'twill promote thy welfare, certainly. 


Shall I not lose the favour of the Prince ? 


His nature's noble, thou may'st trust in him. 


And shall we leave the Princess all alone ? 
Thou leavest her ; and though perhaps not muoli, 
I laiow full well that I was something to her. 


An absent friend is sweet society, 

When of his happiness we're well assur'd. 

My plan succeeds, I see thee happy now ; 

Thou wilt not depart hence unsatisfied. 

The Prince commands ; — Antonio seeks thee, TaesD. 

He censures in himself the bitterness 

With which he wounded thee. I do entreat, 

Receive him with forbearance when he comes. 


I have no cause to shun the interview. 


And oh ! dear friend, that Heaven would grant me tbif.; 
To make it clear to thee ere thou dej^artest, 
ITiat in thy Fatherland there is not one 
Pursues thee, hates, or covertly molests. 
Thou art deceiv'd, and as for others' pleasure 
Thou'rt wont to practise thine inventive art, 



So in this case thou weav'st a cunning web 

To blind thyself, the which to rend asunder 

I'll do mine utmost, that with vision clear 

Thou may'st pursue life's glad career untrammeD'd, 

Farewell ! I hope for happy words ere long. 


TASso, {alone.) 
I must believe, forsooth, that no one hates mc.. — 
That no one persecutes, that all the guile, 
The subtle malice that emirons me. 
Is but the coinage of my own sick brain 
I must acknowledge that myself am wrong ! 
And that tow'rds many who deserve it not 
I've been unjust I What ! This confess e'en now . 
When clearly in the open face of day, 
Appear their malice and my rectitude ! 
I ought to feel most deeply how the Prince 
With gen'rous breast his sov'reign grace imparts, 
And in rich measure loads me with his gifts, 
Though at the very time he has the weakness 
To let his eyes be blinded by my foes, 
Yea, doubtless, and his arms be fetter' d too ! 

His own delusion he cannot perceive. 
That they're deluders I may not reveal ; 
And that he may uncheck'd delude himself. 
And they delude him whensoe'er they please, 
I still must hold my peace, — must yield forsooth J 

And who thus counsels me ? With prudent zeal, 

And thoughtful kindne&s, who doth urge me thus r 

Leonora's self, Leonora hanvitale, 

Considerate friend! Ha, ha, I know thee now ! 

Oh, wherefore did I ever trust her words ? 

She was not honest, when she utter" d forth 

With honied lip, her grace and tenderness ! 

No, she has always had a crafty heart, 

With prudent step she turns where fortime smil^b 

How often have I willingly deceived 
Myself in her ! And yet it was in truth 




But mine own vanity deluded me ! 

I knew her, but self-flatter'd, argued thus • — 

True, she is so towards others, but towards tiiCO 

Her heart is honest, her intention pure. 

Mine eyes are open now, — alas, too late 1 

I was in favour — on the favourite 

How tenderly she fawn'd ! I'm fallen now. 

And she, like fortune, turns her back on me. 

Yes, now she comes, the agent of my foe, 
She glides along, the little artful snake. 
Hissing, with slipp'ry tongue, her magic toucy* 
How fair, more fair than ever she appear' d ! 
How soottingly her honied accents flow'd ! 
Yet could the flatt'ry not conceal from me 
The false intention ; on her brow appear' d 
Too legibly inscrib'd the opposite 
Of all she utter'd. Quick am I to feel 
Whene'er the entrance to my heart is sought 
With a dishonest purpose. I should hence ! 
Should hie to Florence, with convenient speed . 

And why to Florence ? Ah, I see it ail. 
There reigns the rising house of Medici ; 
True, with Ferrara not in open feud, 
But secret rivalry, with chilling hand, 
Doth hold asunder e'en the noblest hearts. 
If from those noble princes I should reap 
Distinguish'd marks of favour, as indeed 
I've reason to expect, the courtiers here 
Would soon impugn my gratitude and truth ; 
And would, with easy wile, achieve their purpof?^* 

Yes, I wiU go, but not as ye desire : 
I will away, and farther than ye think. 

Why should I linger ? Who detains me here ? 
Too well I understood each several word 
That I drew forth from Leonora's lips ! 
With anxious heed each syllable I caught ; 
And now I fully know the Princess' mind— 



Th'dt too is certain ; let me not despair I 
Without reluctance she will let me go, 
If 'twill promote my welfare." Would her heart 
Were master* d by a passion that would whelm 
Me and my welfare ! Oh, more Avelcome far 
The grasp of death than of the frigid hand 
That passively resigns me I — Yes, I go ! — 
Now be upon thy guard, and let no show 
Of love or friendship blind thee ! None hath power 
Now to deceive thee, if not self-deceiv'd. 



Tasso, I come to say a word to thee, 
If thou'rt dispos'd to hear me tranquilly. 


I am denied, thou knov/st, the power to act; 
It well becomes me to attend and listen. 


Tranquil I find thee, as I hop'd to find. 
And speak to thee in all sincerity. 
But in the Prince's name I first dissolve 
The slender band that seem"d to fetter thee. 


Caprice dissolves it, as caprice impos'd ; 
I yield, and no judicial sentence claim. 


Next, Tasso, on my own behalf I speak. 

I have, it seems, more deeply wounded thee. 

Than I, — myself by divers passions mov'd,— ■ 

Was conscious of. But no insulting word 

Hath from rny lip incautiously escap'd. 

Thy honour, as a noble, is im touch' d. 

And, as a man, thou' It not refuse thy pardon. 


Whether contempt or insult galls the most 
I will not now determine. That doth pierce 
The inmost marrow, this but frets the skin. 
The shaft of insult back returns to him 
Who wing'd the missile, and the practis'd sword 




Soon reconcilc'S the opinion of the world* — 
A. wounded heart is difficult to cure. 


'Tis now my turn to press thee urgently ; 
Oh, step not back, yield to mine earnest \vi5?li, 
The Prince's wish, who sends me unto thee. 


I know the claims of duty, and submit. 

Be it, as far as possible, forgiven ! 

The poets tell us of a magic spear, 

Which could, by friendly contact, heal the wound 

Itself had giv'n. The tongue hath such a power; 

I will not peevishly resist it now. 


I thank thee, and desire that thou at once 
Would' st put my wish to serve thee to the proof. 
Then say if I in aught can pleasure thee ; — 
Most gladly will I do so ; therefore speak. 


Thine offer tallies with my secret wish. 
But now thou hast restor'd my liberty, 
Procure for me, I pray, the use of it. 


What meanest thou ? more plainly state thy wimu 


My poem, as thou knowest, I have ended ; 
Yet much it wants to render it complete. 
To-day I gave it to the Prince, and hop'd 
At the same time to proffer my request. 
Full many of my friends I now should find 
In Rome assembled ; they have written me 
Their judgments touching various passage.^ ; 
Many of their suggestions I could use. 
Others require reflection, and some lines 
I should be loath to alter, till at least 
My judgment has been better satisfied. 
All this by letter cannot be arrang'd, 
While intercourse would soon untie the kuot^. 
[ though V myself to ask the Prince to-day. 



But miss*d th' occasion ; now, I dare not venture, 
And must foi this permission trust to thee. 


It seems imprudent to absent thyself 
Just now, when thy <^ompleted work commends thee 
Both to the Prince and Princess. When the suii 
Of fortune smiles, 'tis like a harvest-day ;— 
We should be busy when the corn is ripe. 
Nought wilt thou win if thou departest hence, 
Perchance thou'lt lose what thou hast won already 
Presence is still a powerful deity, — 
Learn to respect her influence, — tarry here. 


I've nought to fear ; Alphonso's soul is nob!?.. 
Such hath he always prov'd himself tow rds me ; — 
To his heart only will I owe the boon 
Which now I crave. By no mean, servile ans 
Will I obtain his favour. Nought wiU I receive 
Which it can e'er repent him to have given. 


Then do not now solicit leave to go ; 
He will not willingly accord thy suit. 
And much I fear he will reject it, Tasso. 


Duly entreated, he will grant my prayer ; 
Thou hast the power to move him if thou wut. 


But what sufficient reason shall I urge ? 


Let every stanza of iny poem speak i 

The scope was lofty that I aim'd to reach. 

Though to my genius inaccessible. 

Labour and strenuous effort have not fail'd ; 

The cheerful stroll of many a lovely day. 

The silent watch of many a solenm night, 

Have to this pious lay been consecrate 

With modest daring I aspir'd to near 

The mighty masters of the olden time , 

With lofty courage plann'd to rouse the age 

From lengthened sleep, to deeds of high emprizo; 

Then with a christian host I hop'd to share 




The toil and glory of a holy war. 

And that my song may rouse the noblest meii 

It must be worthy of its lofty aim. 

What worth it hath is to Alphonso due ; 

For its completion I would owe him thanks. 


The Prince himself is here, with othei men 
Able as those of Rome to be thy guides ; 
Here is thy station, here complete thy woi k : 
Then haste to Rome to carry out thy plan. 


Alphonso first inspir'd my muse, and he 

Will be the last to counsel me. Thy judgment, 

The judgment also of the learned men 

Assembled at our court, I highly value ; 

Ye shall determine when my friends at Rome 

Fail to produce conviction in my mind. 

But them I must consult. Gonzaga there 

Has summon'd a tribunal before which 

I must present myself. I scarce can wait. 

Flaminio de Nobili, Angelio 

Da Barga, Antoniano, and Speron Speroni ! 

They're surely known to thee. — What names tlioy arc « 

rhey in my soul, which bows in reverence, 

Inspire at once both confidence and fear. 


Self-occupied, thou think' st not of the Prince. 
I tell thee that he will not let thee go ; 
And if he does 'twill be against his wish. 
Thou wilt not urge what he is loath to grant ; 
And shall I mediate when 1 can't approve } 


Dost thou refuse me then my first request 
When I would put thy friendship to the proof? 


Timely denial is the surest test 
Of genuine friendship ; love doth oft confei 
A baneful good, when it consults the >\ ish, 
And not the happiness of him who sues. 
Thou in this moment dost appear to me 
To ovei-prize the object of thy wish, 



Which, on the instant, thou would' st ha\ e fulfil' d. 
The erring man would oft by vehemence 
Compensate what he lacks in truth and power ; 
Duty enjoins me now, with all my night, 
To check the rashness that would lead thee wroug, 


I long have known this tyranny of friendship. 

Which of all tyrannies appears to me 

The least endurable. Because forsooth 

Our judgments differ, thine must needs be right ; 

I gladly own that thou dost wish my welfare, 

Require me not to seek it in thy way. 


And would' st thou have me, Tasso, in cold blood. 
With full and clear conviction injure thee ? 


I will at once absolve thee from this care ! 
Thou hast no power to hold me with thy words. 
Thou hast declar'd me free ; these doors which lead 
Straight to the Prince, stand open to me nov7. 
The choice I leave to thee. Or thou or I ! 
The Prince goes forth, no time is to be lost ; 
Determine promptly ! Dost thou still refuse, 
I go myself, let come of it what will. 


A little respite grant me ; — not to-day ; 
Wait I beseech thee till the Prince returns 1 


If it were possible, this very hour ! 

My soles are scorch' d upon this marble floor, 

Nor can my spirit rest until the dust 

Of the free highway shrouds the fugitive. 

I do entreat tliee ! How unfit I am 

Now to appear before the Prince thou seest, 

And thou must see, how can I hide from thee. 

That I'm no longer master of myself.^ 

No power on earth can sway my energies, 

Fetters alone can hold me in control. 

No tyrant is the Prince, he spoke me free. 

Once to his words how gladly I gave ear ! 

Tc -day to hearken is impossible. 


let me have my freedom but to-day, 
That my vex'd spirit may regain its peaco. 
Back to my duty I will soon return. 


Thou male me dubious. How shall I resolve 
That error contagious, I perceive. 


If thy professions I'm to count sincere. 
Perform what I desire, as well thou can'st. 
Then will the Prince release me; and I lose 
Neither his favour nor his gracious aid. 
For that I'll thank thee, ay, with cordial thanks. 
But if thy bosom bear an ancient grudge, 
WoukVst thou for ever banish me this court, 
For ever would' st thou mar my destiny. 
And drive me friendless forth into the world. 
Then hold thy purpose and resist my prayer ! 


Oh, Tasso, — for I'm doom'd to injure thee, 

1 choose the way which thou thyself dost choose;: 
The issue will determine which is wrong! 

Thou wilt aw^ay ; I warn thee ere thou goest : 
Scarce shalt thou turn thy back upon this house. 
Ere thou shalt yearn in spirit to return. 
While wilful humour still shall urge thee on. 
Sorrow, distraction, and desponding gloom 
In Rome await thee. There as well as here 
Thou'lt miss thy aim. But this I do not say 
To counsel thee ; alas ! I but predict 
What soon will happen, and invite thee, Taspo. 
In the worst exigence to trust to me. 
I now wall seek ' ho Prince at thy desire. 


TASSO, {alone.) 
Ay, go, and m the fond assurance go, 
That thou hast power to bend me to thy will, 
I learn dissimulation, for thou art 
An able master, and I prompt to learn. 
Thus life compels us to appear, yea, — be, 
Like those whom in our hearts we proudly 8C'.>ni.. 


How obvious now the web of court intrigue! 
Antonio desires to drive me hence, 
Yet would not seem to drive me. He doth pla} 
The kind, considerate friend, that I may seem 
Incapable and weak ; installs himself 
My guardian too, degrading to a child. 
Him whom he could not bend to be a slave. 
With clouds of error thus he darkens truth. 
And blinds alike the Princess and the Prince 

They should indeed retain me, so he counsels, 

For with fair talents Nature has endow' d me ; 

Although, alas, she has accompanied 

Her lofty gifts with many weaknesses, 

With a foreboding spirit, boundless pride, 

And sensibility too exquisite. 

It cannot now be otherwise, since Fate, 

In her caprice, has fashion' d such a man, 

We must consent to take him as he is, 

Be patient, bear with him, and then, perchance. 

On days auspicious, as an unsought good. 

Find pleasure in his joy- diffusing gift. 

While for the rest, why e'en as he was born. 

He must have license both to live and die. 

Where now Alphonso's firm and constant mind ? 
In him who treats me thus can I discover 
The man who braves his foe, who shields his fri 
Now I discern the measure of my woe ! 
This is my destiny, — towards me alone 
All change their nature, — ay, the very men, 
Who are with others stedfast, firm, and true. 
In one brief moment, for an idle breath. 
Swerve liglitly from their constant quality. 

Has not this man's arrival here, alone. 
And in a single hour, my fortune marr'd ? 
Has he not, even to its very base, 
Laid low the structure of my happiness ? 
This, too, must I endure, — even to-day ! 
Yea as before all press'd around me, now 
I am by all abandon' d ; as before 


Each strove to seize, to win me for himself, 
All thrust me from them, and avoid me now. 
And wherefore ? My desert and all the love, 
A\Tierewith I was so bounteously endow'd, 
Does he alone in equal balance weigh ? 

Yes ! all forsake me now. Thou too ! Thou too 

Beloved Princess, thou too leavest me ! 

Hath she, to cheer me in this dismal hour, 

A single token of her favour sent ? 

Have T deserved this from her ? — Thou, poor hear* 

Whose very nature 'twas to honour her! 

How, when her gentle accents touch' d mine eai*, 

Feelings unutterable thrill' d my breast ! 

When she appeared, a more ethereal light 

Outshone the light of day. Her eyes, her lips 

Drew me resistlessly. My very knees 

Trembled beneath me, and my spirits' strength 

Was all requir'd to hold myself erect. 

And curb the strong desire to throw myself 

Prostrate before her. Scarely could I quell 

The giddy rapture. — Be thou firm, my heart ! 

No cloud obscure thee, thou clear mind ! She, too 

Dare I pronounce what yet I scarce believe ? 

I must believe, yet dread to utter it. 

She too ! She too ! Think not the slightest blame 

Only conceal it not. She too ! She too ! 

Alas ! This word, whose truth I ought to doubt, 

Long as a breath of faith surviv'd in me ; 

This word, like fate's decree, doth now at last. 

Engrave itself upon the brazen rim 

That rounds the full-scroll' d tablet of my woe. 

Now first, mine enemies are strong indeed ; 

For ever now I am bereft of strength. 

How shall I combat when she stands opposed 

Amidst the hostile army ? How endure 

If she no more reach forth her hand to me. 

If her kind glance the suppliant meet no more ? 

Ay, thou hast dar'd to think, to utter it, 

^nd ere thou could'st have fear'd, — behold 'tis true! 



Ajid now, ere vet despair, with brazen talons, 
Doth rend asunder thy bewilder"d brain, 
Lament thy bitter doom, and utter forth 
The unavailing cry — She too ! She too ! 



A Garden. 


Obedient to thy wish, I went to Tasso 

A second time, I come from him but now. 

I sought to move him, yea, I strongly urged; 

But from his fix'd resolve he swerve th not ; 

He earnestly entreats that for a time 

Thou would" st permit him to repair to Rome. 


His pm'pose much annoys me, I confess 

I rather tell thee my vexation now, 

Than let it strengthen, smother' d in my breast 

He fain would travel, good ! I hold him not. 

He will depart, he will to Rome ; so be it ! 

I would not that the crafty Medici 

Detain him though, nor Scipio Gonzaga ! 

"Tis this hath made our Italy so great. 

That rival neighbom-s zealousl}' contend 

To foster and employ the ablest men. 

Like chief without an army, shows a prince 

Who round him gathers not super ioi minds ; 

And who the voice of poesy disdains 

Is a barbarian, be he who he may. 

Tasso I found, I chose him for myself, 

I number him with pride among my train 

And having done so much for him already, 

I should be loath to lose him without cause. 


I feel emban-ass d. Prince, for in thy sight 
I bear the blame of what occurr'd to-day; 



That I was in the wrong, I frankly o^r , 

And look for pardon to thy clemency. 

But I were inconsolable could' st thou. 

E'en for a moment, doubt the honest zeal 

With which I've sou^-ht t' appease him. Speak jj Trie 

With gracious look, thctt so I may regain 

My self-reliance and my wonted calm. 


Feel no disquietude, Antonio;— 

In no wise do I count the blame as thine ; 

Too well I know the temper of the man, 

A\Tiat I have done for him, how much I've spar'd hirn^ 

How often overlook' d my rightful claims. 

O'er many things we gain the mastery, 

But stern necessity and lengthen'd time 

Scarce give a man dominion o'er himself. 


\\Tien other men toil in behalf of one ; 
'Tis fit this one wdth diligence inquire 
How he may profit others in return. 
He who hath fashion" d his own mind so weil. 
Who hath aspir'd to make each several science 
And the whole range of human lore, his o^vIi, 
Is surely doubly bound to rule himself;— 
Yet doth he ever give it e'en a thought ? 


Continued rest is not ordain' d for man ! 
Still, when we purpose to enjoy ourselves, 
To try our valour fortune sends a foe, 
To try our equanimity a friend. 


Does Tasso o'^n fulfil man's primal duty, 
To regulate hxi appetite, in which 
He is not, like the brute, restrain'd by nature ? 
Does he not rather, like a child, indulge 
In all that charms and gratifies his taste ? 
When has he mingled water vr.Vti his wine? 
Comfits and condiments, and ^jotent drinks, 
One with another still he swallows down, 
And then complains of his bewilder d braia. 
His hasty temper, and his fever d blood, 


Railing at nature and at destiny. 

How oft I've heard Mm in a bitter style 

With childish folly argue with his leech. 

'Twould raise a laugh, if aught were laughable 

Which teases others and torments oneself. 

" Oh, this is torture !" anxiously he cries, 

Then in splenetic mood, Why boast your art ? 

Prescribe a cure !" Good !" then exclaims the leevli* 

" Abstain from this or that." " That can I not." 

Then take this potion." " No, it nauseates me, 
The taste is horrid, nature doth rebel." 

Well then, drink water." Water ! never more ! 
Like hydrophobia is my dread of it." 

Then your disease is hopeless." " Why, I pray r" 
" One evil symptom will succeed another. 
And though your malady should not prove fatal, 
'Twill daily more torment you." Fine, indeed, 
Then wherefore play the leech ? You know my ease. 
You should devise a remedy, and one 
That's palatable too, that I may not 
First suffer pain before reliev'd from it." 
I see thee smile, my Prince, 'tis but the truth ; 
Doubtless thyself hast heard it from his lips. 


Often I've heard, as often I've excus'd. 


It is most certain, an intemperate life, 
As it engenders wild, distemper' d dreams, 
At length doth make us dream in open day. 
What's his suspicion but a troubled dream ? 
He thinks himself environ' d still by foes. 
None can discern his gift who envy not. 
And all who envy, hate and persecute. 
Oft with complaints he has molested thee : 
Notes intercepted, violated locks, 
Poison, the dagger ! All before him float ! 
Thou dost investigate his grievance, — well, 
Doth aught appear ? Why, scarcely a pretext. 
No sovereign's shelter gives him confidence. 
The bosom of no friend can comfort hrn. 



Would' st promise happiness to siicli a iiiaii. 
Or look to him for joy unto thyself? 


Thou would' st be right, Antonio, if from hxm 
I sought my own immediate benefit. 
But I have learn' d no longer to expect 
Service direct and unconditional. 
All do not serve us in the selfsame way ; 
Who needeth much and would be ably serv'd, 
Must employ each according to his gift ; 
This lesson from the Medici we've learn' d, 
'Tis practis"d even by the Popes themselves. 
With what forbearance, magnanimity. 
And princely patience, have they not ondur'd 
Full many a genius, who requir'd their aid, 
Though it appear' d not that they needed it ! 


Who knows not this, my Prince ? The toil of lift} 

Alone can tutor us life's gifts to prize. 

The smilcb of fortune have too soon been his, 

For him to relish aught in quietness. 

Oh, that he were compell d to earn the blessings 

Which now with liberal hand are thrust upon hini ! 

Then would he brace his nerves with manly courage*^., 

And at each onward step feel new content. 

The needy noble has attain' d the height 

Of his ambition, if his gracious prince 

Raise him, with hand benign, from poverty, 

And choose him as an inmate of the court. 

And should he honour him with confidence, 

Consulting him in war, or state affairs, 

VVhy then, me thinks, the modest man may bless, 

With silent gratitude, his lucky fate. 

And with all this, Tasso enjoys besides 

Youth's purest happiness : — his fatherland 

Esteems him highly, looks to him with hope. 

Trust me for this, — his peevish discontent 

On the broad pillow of his fortune rests. 

He comes, dismiss him kindly, give him time 

Id Rome, in Naples, wheresoe'er he will, 



To search in vain for what he misses here. 
Yet here alone can ever hope to find. 


Back to Ferrara will he first return ? 


He rather would remain in Belriguardo. 
And, for his journey, what he may require^ 
He will request a friend to forward to him. 


I am content. My sister, with her friend, 

Return immediately to town, and I, 

Riding with speed, hope to reach home before them. 

Thou'lt follow straight when thou hast car'd for him ; 

Give orders to the castellan, that here 

Tasso may stay as long as he desires ; 

Till he receives his luggage, till the letters, 

Which we shall give him to our friends at Rome, 

Have been transmitted. Here he comes. Farewell! 



TASSO, {with embarrassment.) 
The favour thou so oft hast shown me. Prince, 
Is manifest, in clearest light, to-day. 
The deed which, in the precincts of thy palace, 
I lawlessly committed, thou hast pardon' d. 
Thou hast appeas'd and reconcil'd my foe. 
Thou dost permit me for a time to leave 
The shelter of thy side, and rich in bounty, 
Wilt not withdraw from me thy gen'rous aid. 
Inspired with confidence, I now depart, 
And trust that this brief absence will dispel 
The heavy gloom that now oppresses me. 
My renovated soul shall plume her wing. 
And pressing forward on the bright career, 
Which, glad and bold, encourag'd by thy glance, 
I enter'd first, deserve thy grace anew. 


Prosperity attend thee on thy way ! 
With joyous spirit, and to health restor'd. 



Return again amongst us. Thus thou shalt 
A rich requital bring for every hour 
Thou now depriv'st us of. — I'll give thee letters 
Both to my friends at Rome and to my kinsmen 
To them attach thyself; — for this remember, 
Though absent, I shall still regard thee mine. 


Thou dost o'er whelm with favours one, oh Priixce^ 
Who feels himself unworthy, who e'en wants 
Ability to render fitting thanks. 
Instead of thanks I proffer a request ! 
My poem now lies nearest to my heart. 
My labours have been strenuous, yet I feel 
lliat I am far from having reach' d my aim 
Fain would I there resort, where hovers yet 
The inspiring genius of the mighty dead. 
Still raining influence ; there would I become 
Once more a learner, then my song indeed 
More worthily might merit thine applause. 
Oh, give me back the manuscript, which uow 
I feel asham'd to think is in thy hand. 


Thou wilt not surely take from me to day 

What but to-day thou hast consign' d to me. 

Between thy poem, Tasso, and thyself 

Let me now stand as arbiter. Beware — 

Nor, through assiduoua diligence, impair 

The genial nature that pervades thy rhymes : 

And give not ear to every critic's word ! 

With nicest tact the poet reconciles 

The judgments thousandfold of different men, 

In thoughts and life at variance with each other ; 

And fears not even numbers to displease, 

That he may charm the more still greater numbers c 

And yet I say not but that here and there 

Thou may'st, with modest care, employ the file, 

I promise thee at once, that in brief space^ 

Thou shalt receive a copy of thy poem. 

Meanwhile I will retain it in my hands, 

That I may first enjoy it with my sisters. 

Then, if thou bring' st it back more perfect still. 



Our joy will be enhanc'd, and here and thert\ 
We'll hint corrections, only as thy friends. 


I can but modestly repeat my prayer ; 
Let me receive the copy with all speed. 
My spirit resteth solely on this work, 
Its full completion it must now attain. 


I praise the araour that inspires thee, Tasso I 
Yet. were it possible, thou for awhile 
Should'st rest thy mind, seek pleasure in the world, 
And find some means to cool thy heated blood. 
Then would thy mental powers restor"d to health. 
Through their sweet harmony, spontaneous yield, 
^Vhat now, with anxious toil, thou seek'st in vaiu, 


So it would seem, my Prince, but I'm in health 

When I can yield myself to strenuous toil, 

And this my toil again restores my health ; 

Long hast thou known me, thou must long have . een, 

I thrive not in luxurious indolence ; 

llest brings no rest to me. Alas, I feel it ; 

My mind, by nature, never was ordain'd. 

Borne on the yielding billows of the horn*. 

To float in pleasure o'er time's ample sea. 


Thine aims, thy dreams, all whelm thee in thyself. 

Around us there doth yawn full many a gul]<}i, 

Scoop'd by the hand of destiny ; but here. 

In our own bosoms, lies the deepest ; — ay ! 

And tempting 'tis to hurl oneself therein ! 

I (tliargc thee, Tasso, snatch thee from thyself I 

The man will profit, though the bard may losv?, 


To quell the impulse I should vainly strive, 
Wiiich ceaseless in my bosom, day and night 
Alternates ever. life were life no more 
^Ve^e I to (!ease to poetize, to dream. 
Would' st tliou forbid the cunning worm to spi:i, 
For that he spins himself still nearer death ? 
-''rom his own being, he unfoldeth still 


T()kui.:ato tasso. 

The costly texture, nor suspends his toll.. 
Till in his shroud he hath immur'd himself. 
Oh, to us mortals may some gracious power 
Accoi'd the insect's enviable doom. 
In some new sunny vale, with sudden joy. 
To spread our eager pinioiis I 


List to me ! 
Thou givost still to others to enjoy 
Life with a twofold relish. Learn thyi^elf 
To know the worth of life, whose richest boon 
In tenfold measm'e is bestow'd on thee. 
Now fare thee well ! The sooner thou returu'st 
All the more cordial will ihy welcome be. 


TASSO, {alone.) 
Hold fast, my heart, thy work has been well done ! 
The task was arduous, for ne'er before, 
Did'st thou or wish or venture to dissemble. 
Ay, thou did'st hear it, that was not his mind, 
Nor his the words ; to me it still appeared, 
As if I heard again Antonio's voice. 
Only give heed ! Henceforth on evVy side 
Thou'lt hear that voice. Be firm, my heart, be firm 
'Tis only for a moment. He who learns 
The trick of simulation late in life, 
Doth outwardly the natural seinblance wear 
Of honest faith ; practise, and thoult succeed. 

Too soon thou triumphest, for lo ! she comes i 
The gentle Princess ! How the feeling thrills ! 
She enters now, suspicion in my breast, 
And angry suUenness dissolve in grief. 



[Toivards tlic end of (he Scene the oihers,) 


Thou think'st to leave us then, or rather, lasso. 
To taiT}' for awhi-e in Belriguardo, 


And then withdraw thyself from us ? I trust 
Thine absence will not be for long. Thou think" 
To visit Rome ? 


Thither I hasten first, 
And if, as I have reason to expect, 
1 receive there kind welcome from my friendsf. 
With care and patient toil I may, at length. 
Impart its highest finish to my poem. 
There are assembled men who well may claiii\ 
In ev'ry several art the name of master. 
Ay, and in that first city of the world, 
Hath not each site, yea, every stone a tongue ? 
How many thousand silent monitors, 
With earnest mien, majestic, beckon us ! 
There if I fail to make my work complete, 
I never shall complete it. Oh, I feel it — 
Success doth wait on no attempt of mine ! 
For ever altr ing, I shall ne'er succeed I 
I feel, yea, deeply feel, the noble art 
That quickens others, and does strength infuse 
Into the healthy soul, will drive me forth. 
And bring me to destruction. Now I go, 
And first to Naples. 


Dar'st thou venture then: * 
The rigid sentence is not yet repeal'd 
Which banish* d thee, together with thy fnthcr. 


I know^ the danger, and have ponder'd it. 
I go disguis'd, in tatter'd garb, perch?:j( o 
Of shepherd, or of pilgrim, meanly cir •. 
Unseen I wander through the city, where 
The movements of the many shroud the one 
Then to the shore I hasten, find a bark. 
With people of Sorrento, peasant folk. 
Returning home from market, for I too 
Must hasten to Son-ento, where resides 
My sister, erer to my parent's heart, 
Together with myself, a mournful joy. 
I speak not in the bark, silent I stvp 

A.sliorc, tlicn climb the upward path, , 
And for Cornelia at the gate inquire : 
AVhcre may she dwell, Cornelia Sersale ? 
With friendly mien, a woman at her wheel 
Shows me the street, the house ; I hasten 0:1 ' 
The children run beside me, and survey 
The gloomy stranger, wdth the shaggy lockf?. 
Tims I approach the threshold. Open stands 
The cottage door ; I step into the house — 

Oh, Tasso ! if 'tis possible, look up. 

And see the danger that environs thee I 

T spare thy feelings, else I well might a>jl:, 

Is't noble, so to speak, as now thou spcakest ? 

Is't noble of thyself alone to think. 

As if thou did'st not wound the heart of friends? 

My brother's sentiments, are they conceal* d r 

.And how we sisters prize and honour thee r 

Hast thou not known and felt it ? Can it be, 

That a few moments should have alter'd all " 

Oil, Tasso, if thou wilt indeed depart, 

Yet do not leave behind thee grief and care. 

[Tasso turns auxsy. 
How soothing to the sorrowing heart to give. 
To the dear friend who leaves us for a season. 
Some trifling present, though 'twere nothing more 
Than a l.«right w^eapon, or a mantle new ! 
There's nought, alas, that we can offer thee, 
For thou ungraciously dost fling aside 
y/cn what thou hast. Thou choosest for thyself 
Tlie pilgrim's scollop shell, his sombre weeds. 
His staff to lean on, and departing thus, 
In willing poverty, depriv'st us of 
The only pleasure w(; could share with tnee. 


Then thou wilt not reject me utterly r 

Oh precious words ! O comfort dear and sweet I 

Do thou defend me ! Shield me wii^ thy care I — 

Oh send me to Consandoli, or here, 

ICeep me in Belriguardo, where thou wilt ! 

'I'he Trince is lord of many a pleasant seat. 


Many a trim garden, Avliich the whole year rcund 
Is duly kept, whose liow'ry paths ye tread not 
E'en for a day or hour, the live-long year. 
Then, choose among them all the most remote 
Which through long years ye've left unvisited. 
And which perchance e'en now untended lies. 
Oh send me thither ! There let nie be yom-s I 
And I will tend thy trees, construct the shed 
That shields thy citrons from autumnal blasts, 
Fencing them round with interwoven reeds ! 
Flowers of the fairest hues shall strike their n^ jir.^ 
And ev'ry path be trimm'd with nicest care I 
And of the palace should' st thou give me charge. 
The windows at convenient times 1 11 open. 
That no injurious vapours mar the works 
Of ancient art. — The walls, choice stucco-work- 
With the light brush, I'll duly free from dust ; 
Tliere shall the polish'd pavement brightly shin?, 
No stone, no tile, miss its right ])iace, and ther^ 
No truant weed peep from the crevices. 


I fmd no counsel in my troubled mind, 
'No comfort in my breast for tliee or us. 
I look around to see if some kind god 
Will haply grant us succour, and reveal 
Some healing plant, or potion, to restore 
Peace to thy wilder' d senses, peace to us ? 
The truest w^ord that floweth from the lip, 
The surest remedy hath lost its power ; 
Leave thee I must, — vet doth my lieait refuse 
To part from thee. 


Ye gods ! And is it she ? 
She who thus pities, thus communes with thee ? 
And coidd'st thou e'er mistake that noble heart f 
And was it possible despondency 
Could, in her presence, overmaster thee ? 
'Tis thou ! 'Tis thou ! I am myself again ! 
Yet speak once more ! Sweet comfort let me hcr.r 
Again from thy dear lips i Speak, nor withdraw 
Tiiy counse] from me. — Say, wluit must I d-o. 


That I may win the pardon of the Piinco, 
That thou thyself may'st freely pardon me, 
Tiiat ye may both with pleasure take mci bac/ic 
Into your princely service r Speak to me. 


It is but little ^Ye require from thee, 

And yet that little seemeth all too much. 

Preely should'st thou resign thyself to us. 

We wish not from thee aught but what thou a:-":. 

If only with thyself thou wert at peace. 

^Vhen thou art happy, Tasso, we are happy, 

^Vhen thou dost seem to shun thy bliss, we grieve ^ 

And if sometimes w^e are impatient with thee. 

'Tis only that we fain would succour thee, 

And feel, alas, our succour all in vain, 

If thou wdlt still refuse the proffer' d hand. 

Which fails to roach thee, though stretch'd loiigiii.^ y 


'Tis tliou thyself, a hol}^ angel still. 

As wb.en at first thou didst appear to me ! 

The mortal's darken' d vision, oh, forgive, 

If while he gazed, he for a moment err'd ; 

Xow he again discerns thee, and his soul 

uVsj)hes to honour thee eternally. 

A flood of tenderness o'erwhelms my lieait — 

Sh(« stanrds before me ! She ! What feelin^:: thio ^ 

Is it distraction draws mo unto thee ? 

Or is it madness ? or a sense sublime 

Which apprehends the purest, loftiest truth ? 

Yes, 'tis the only feeling that on earth 

Hath power to make and keep me truly blest. 

Or that could overwhelm me with despair, 

What time I wrestled with it, and resolved 

To banish it for ever from my heart. 

This fiery passion I had thought to quell, 

Still with mine inmost being strove and stro vC^. 

And in the strife my very self destroyed, 

A\'hich is to thee indissolubly bound. 


If thou would'st have me, Tasso, listen to theo, 
Ilestrain this fervid glow, which frightens me^ 




ll(?stiains the goblet's rim the bubbling wine 
That sparkling foams, and overflows its bounds : 
Thine ev'ry word doth elevate my bliss. 
With ev'ry word more brightly gleams thine tvc. 
Over my spirit's depths there comes a change ; 
Reliev'd from dark perplexity, I feel. 
Free as a god, and all I owe to thee ! 
A charm unspeakable, which masters me. 
Flows from thy lips. Thou makest me all thiiio. 
Of mine own being nought belongs to me. 
Mine eye grows dim in the excess of light, 
My senses fail me ; I can scarcely stand. 
Thou draw'st me to thee with resistless miglit. 
And my heart rushes self-impell'd to thee. 
Thou* St won me now for all eternity, 
Then take my whole of being to thyself. 

[^He throws himself into her (wnus, and clas2)s h6r £j 
his bosom. ^ 


[IVirowinr/ him from her and retiring ifi haste.) 

Away I 


;^ iVho has for some time appeared in the bach i^roandy 
hastening forward.) 
What then has happened ? Tasso ! Tasso I 

[She follows the Princess, 
TASSO, {about to follow her.) 

Oh God! 


( Who has for some time been approaching iviti. Antonio.) 
He is distracted, hold him fast. 




If that a foeman, — as thou deem'st thyself 
Environ'd by a multitude of foes — 
Beside thee stood, how would he triumph no ,7 
Unhappy man ! 1 am not yet myself ! 



When sometliing quite unparallerd occurs, 
AVheii something monstrous first arrests our sight. 
The stagger* d spirit stands a moment still, 
For we know nothing to compare it ^^ith. 

TASso, {after a long pause 
Fulfil thine office, I perceive 'tis thou 1 
Ay, thou deserv'st the Prince's confidence. 
Fulfil thine office, since my doom is seal'd, 
"With ling'ring tortures, torture me to death ! 
Draw ! draw the shaft, that I may feel the barb, 
That lacerates, v/ith cruel pangs, my heart I 
The tyrant's precious instrument art thou ; 
Ay, be his gaoler, — executioner, — 
For these are offices become thee well ! 

[_ToivarcIs the scene. 
Yes, tyrant, go ! Thou could* st not to the last 
Thy wonted mask retain ; in triumph go ! 
Thy slave thou hast well pinion' d, and reserved 
For predetermin'd and protracted pangs. 
Yes, go ! I hate thee. In my lieart I feel 
The horror which despotic power excites, 
^Vhen it is grasping, cruel, and unjust. 

[After a pjiu^e. 

Thus, then, at last I see myself exil'd, 

Tum'd off, and thrust forth, like a mendicant ! 

Thus they with garlands v/reath'd me, bur to lead 

The victim to the shrine of sacrifice I 

Thus, at the very last, with cunning words, 

They drew from me my only property. 

My poem, — ay, and they'll retain it too ! 

Now is my one possession in their hands, 

My bright credential wheresoe'er I went ; 

My sole resource 'gainst biting poverty ! 

Ay, now I see why I must take mine ease. 

*Tis a conspiracy, and thou the head. 

Thus that my song may not be perfected. 

That my renown may ne'er be spread abroad. 

That envy still may find a thousand faults, 

And my unhonour'd name forgotten die, 

I must consent forsooth to idleness. 

Husband my faculties and spare myself. 


Oh precious friendship ! Kind solicitude ! 
Odious appear* d the dark conspiracy 
Which ceaseless round me wove its viewless \ve'f3 
But stiJl more odious does it now appear I 

And, thou too, Siren ! who so tenderly 
Did'st lead me on with thy celestial mien. 
Thee now I know ! Wherefore, oh God, so late 

But we so willingly deceive ourselves, 
Still hon'ring reprobates that honour us. 
True men are never to each other known ; 
Such knowledge is reserved for galley-slaves 
Chain'd to a narrow plank, who gasp for breath. 
Where none hath aught to ask, nor aught to lose 
But for a rascal each avows himself. 
And holds his neighbour for a rascal too, — 
Such men as these perchance may know each otl 
But for the rest, we courteously misjudge them, 
In hopes that they'll misjudge us in return. 

How long thine hallow' d image from my gaze 
Veil'd the coquette, working, with paltry ai'ts ! 
The mask has fallen ! — Now I see Armida 
Denuded of her charms, — yes, thou art she. 
Of whom my bodeful verse prophetic sang ! 

And then the little, cunning go-between ! 
With what profound contempt I vicv her now ? 

hear the rustling of her stealthy step. 
As round me still she spreads her artful toils. 
Ay, now I know you ! And let that suffice I 
And misery, though it beggar me of all, 
111 honour still, — for it hath taught me trutl 


I hear thee with amazement, though I knov/ 
How thy rash humour, Tasso, urges thee 
To rush in haste to opposite extremes. 
Collect thy spirit and command thy rage ! 
Thou spealvcst slander, dost indulge in v.^ordt 



\Miicli to thine anguish though they be fjrglvo.'L, 
Thou never can'st forgive unto thyself. 


Oh, speak not to me with a gentle lip, 
Let me not hear one prudent word from theo I 
Leave me my sullen happiness, that I 
]May not regain my senses, but to lose theai. 
]My very bones are crush'd, yet do I live ;— 
A}' I live to feel the agonizing pain. 
Despair enfolds me in its ruthless grasp. 
And, in the hell-pang that annihilates, 
These sland'rous words are but the feeble oy^ 
Wrung from the depth of my sore agony. 
I will away ! If honest, point the path, 
And suffer me at once to fly from hence. 


In thine extremity I will not leave thee ; 
And should' st thou wholly lose thy self-contro'i^ 
My patience shall not fail. 


And must I then 
Yield myself up a prisoner to thee? 
ilesign'd I yield myself, and it is done. 
I cease to struggle, and 'tis w^ell with me. 
Now let mine anguisi/.'u heart recall how fair 
What, as in sport, I'^e madly flung aside. 
They go from hence.— Oh God! I there behold 
The dust, ascending from their chariot wheels. 
The riders in advance — ay, there they go 
J^yen to the very place from whence I came ! 
And now they're gone— estrang'd from me they're goiii;* 
Oh that I once again had Idss'd his hand ! 
That I had still to take a last farewell ! 
That I could only falter out—'' forgive i" 
That I could hear him say,—" go, thou'rt forgiven !" 
Alas ! I hear it not; — I ne'er shall hear it- 
Yes, I will go ! Let me but say farewell, 
( )nly farewell ! Give me, oh give me back 
Their long'd for presence for a single moment I 
Perchance I might recover ! Never more ! 
I am rejected, doom'd to banishment ! 

A\ii^ I I am self-banisli'd, never more 

To hear that gentle voice, that tender glance 

To meet no more — 


Yet hear the voice of out.\ 
Who, not without emotion, stands beside thee ! 
Thou'rt not so wretched, Tasso, as thou thinkes". 
Collect thyself! Too much thou art unmann'd. 


And am I then as wretched as I seem? 

Am I as weak as I do show myself r 

Say, is all lost ? Has sorrow's direful stroke. 

As with an earthquake's sudden shock, transforn:.* I 

The stately pile into a ruin'd heap : 

Is all the genius flown that did ere while 

So richly charm, and so exalt my soul r 

Is all the power extinguish'd Vvhicli of yore 

Stirr'd in my bosom's depths ? Am I become 

A nothing? A mere nothinc^ ? No, all's here ? 

I have it still, and yet myself am nothing! 

I from myself am sever'd, she from mc ! 


Though to thyself thou seemost so forlorn,, 
Be calm, and bear in mi ad what still thou art! 


Ay, in due season thou remindest me 
liath history no example for mine aid r 
Before mc cloth there rise no man of worth 
Who hath borne more than I, that with his fato 
'Mine own comparing, I may gather strength. 
No, ail is gone ! But one thing still remains ; 
Tears, balmy tears, kind nature has bestow VI. 
The cry of anguish, wdien the man at length 
Can bear no more — ^yea, and to me beside. 
She leaveth melody and speech, that I 
May utter forth the fulness of my woe. 
Though in their mortal anguish men are dumb. 
To me a God hath given to tell my grief. 

[Antoiiio approaches him and takes his hatuL 



Oh, noble friend, thou standest firm and cahu. 
While I am like the temp est- driven wave. 
But be not boastful of thy strength. Reflect ! 
Nature, whose mighty power hath fix'd the rock. 
Gives to the wave its instabiHty. 
She sends her storm, the passive wave is driven, 
And rolls, and swells, and falls in billowy foam. 
Yet in this very wave the glorious sun 
Mirrors his splendour, and the quiet stars 
Upon its heaving bosom gently rest. 
Dimm'd is the splendour, vanish'd is the calm!— 
In danger's hour I know m^'self no longer 
Nor am I now asham'd of the confession. 
The helm is broken, and on ev'ry side 
The reeling vessel splits. The riven planks* 
Bursting asunder, yawn beneath my feet I 
Thus with my outstretched arms I ciing to tJice I 
So doth the shipwreck'd manner at lae^t, 
Cliag t3 the rock whereon hw vessel struck. 



4 Margaret of Parma.;, Daughter of Charles V, and H-ei^iat 

the Netherlands. 
Count Egmont, Prince of Gaure. 
William of Orange. 
The Duke of Alva. 
Ferdinand, his natural Son. 
Mechiavel, in tho service of the Regent, 
Richard, Egmont's private Secretary. 

I in the service of AIv.1. 
Gomez, I 

Clara, the Beloved of Egniotii. 
Ilcr Mother. 

Brackenburg, a Citizen's Son. 
Soest, a Shopkeeper, 
Jktter, a Tailor, 
A Carpenter, 
A Soapboiler, 

BuYCK, a Hollander, a Sohlier under Egmont, 
RuYSUM, a Frieslander, an invalid Soldier, aad dca& 
Van sen, a Clerk, 

Pcoj»le, Attendants, Guards, &c. 

I Citizens of Brussels. 

The Scene is laid iu BruKote, 


SoLDiEKs and Citizens {with cross-hoivs), 
Jetter {steps forward^ and hendf: lis cross-how). 


SoEST. Come, shoot away, and have done witli it I You 
won't beat me ! Three black nng«, you never made such a 
shot in all your life. And so I'm mjister for Ihis year. 

Jettee. Master and king to-boot; who envies your 
You'll have to pay double reckoning ; 'tis only fair you 
should pay for your dexterity. 

BuYCK. Jetter, I'll buy your shot, share the prize, and 
treat the company. I have already been here so long, and 
am a debtor for so many civilities. If I miss, then it shall 
be as if you had shot. 

SoEST. I ought to have a voice, for in fact I am the 
loser. No matter ! Come, Buyck, shoot away. 

BuYCK {shoots). Now, corporal, look out ! — One ! Two ! 
Three ! Four ! 

SoEST. Four rings ! So be it ! 

All. Hurrah ^ Long live the King ! Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 
Buyck. Thanks, sirs, master even were too much I 
Thanks for the honor. 

Jetter. You have no one to thank but yourself. 
EuYsuM. Let me tell you ! — 
80EST. How now, gray beard ? 

RuYSUM. Let me tell you! — He shoots like his master, 
4ie shoots like Egmont. 

Buyck. Compared with him, I am only a bungk^r. He 
aims with the rifle as no one else does. Not only when he's 
lucky or in the vein; no! he levels, and the bull's eye is 
pierced. I have learned from him. He were indeed a bloek- 



heaG, wlio could serve under him and learn nothing! — But, 
pirs, let us not forget ! A king maintains his followers : and 
so, wine here, at the king's charge ! 

Jetter. We have agreed among ourselves that each — 

Buyce:. I am a foreigner and a king, and care not a jot 
for your laws and customs. 

Jetter. Why you are w^orse than the Spaniard, who 
has not yet ventured to meddle with them. 

RuYsUM. W^hat does he say ? 

SoEST {loud to Ruysum). He wants to treat us ; he will 
not hear of our clubbing together, the king paying only a 
double share. 

BuYSUM. Let him! under protest, however! 'Tis his 
master's fashion, too, to be munificent, and to let the money 
flow in a good cause. \JVine is hronffJit, 

All. Here's to his majesty ! Hurrah ! 

Jetter (to Buyck). That means your majesty, o£ 

Btjyck. My hearty thanks, if it be so. 
Soest. Assuredly ! A Netherlander docs not find it easy 
10 di'ink the health of his Spanish majesty from his heart. 
Buy SUM. Who ? 

SoEST (aloud), Philip the Second, King of Spain. 
Ruysum. Our rao-^- gracious king and master I Long 
life to him 

SoEST. Did you not like his father, Charles the Fifth, 
better ? 

BuY'^suM. God bless him! He was a king indeed! His 
hand reached over the whole earth, and he was all in all. 
Yet, when he met you, he'd greet you just as one neighbour 
greets another, — and if you were frightened, he knew so well 
how to put you at yom- ease, — ay, you understand me, — ^he 
walked out, rode out, just as it came into his head, with very 
few follov/ers. We all wept when he resigned the government 
here to his son. You understand me, — ^he is another sort of 
man, he's more majestic. 

Jetter. When he was here, he never appeared in 
p'lblic, except in pomp and royal state. He speaks little, 
they say. 

Soest. He is no king for us Netherlanders. Our princes 
must be joyous and free like ourselves, must live, and let 


live. Vs e ^viil neither be despised nor oppressed, good* 
natured fools though we be. 

J KTTER. The king, methinks, were a gracious sovereigu 
enough, if he had only better counsellors. 

SoEST. No, no ! He has no affection for us Nether- 
landers ; he has no heart for the people ; he loves us not ; 
how then can we love him? Why is everybody so fond of 
Count Egmont ? Why are we all so devoted to' him ? Why, 
because one can read in his face that he loves us ; tecausi.^ 
joyousness, open-heartedness, and good-nature, speak in his 
eves ; because he possesses nothing that ne does not share 
^vith him who needs it, ay, and with him who needs it not. 
Ijong live Count Egmont ! Buyck, it is for you to give the 
iu'st toast ! give us your master's health. 

Buyck. With all my heart; here's to Count Egmont! 
llm-rah ! 

RuYSUM. Conqueror of St. Quintin. 
Buyck. The hero of Gravelines. 
All. HmTah ! 

EuYSUM. St. Quintin was my last battle. I was hardly 
nble to crawl along, and could with difficulty carry my heavy 
rifle. I managed, notwithstanding, to singe the skin of the 
French once more, and, as a parting gift, received a grazing 
shot in niy right leg. 

Buyck. Gravelines ! Ha, my friends, we had sharp 
Avork of it there ! The victory was all our own. Did not 
tliose French dogs carry fire and desolation into the very 
heart of Flanders? We gave it them, however! The old 
hard-fisted veterans held out bravely for awhile, but we 
])ushed on, fired away, and laid about us, till they made wry 
Ihces, and their lines gave way. Then Egmont's horse was 
sliot under him ; and for a long time we fought pell-mell. 
man to man, horse to horse, troop to troop, on the broad, 
ilat, sea-sand. Suddenly, as if from heaven, down came tli'^ 
cannon shot from the mouth of the river, bang, bang, right 
into the midst of the French. These were English, who, under 
Admiral Malin, happened to be sailing past from Dunkirk. 
They did not help us much, 'tis true; they could only ap- 
proach with their smallest vessels, and that not near enough; 
— besides, their shot fell sometimes among our troops. It 
^id some ji:ood, however ! It broke the Freiich lines, and 


raised our cour&ge. Away it went. Helter, skelter ! topsy^, 
turvy !. all struck dead, or forced into the river ; the fellows 
were drowned the moment they tasted the water, while we 
Hollanders dashed in after them. Being amphibious, we 
were as much in our element as frogs, and hacked away at the 
enemy, and shot them down as if they had been ducks. The 
few who struggled through, were struck dead in their flight 
by the peasant women, armed with hoes and pitchforks. 
His Gallic majesty was compelled at once to humble himself, 
and make peace ; and that peace you owe to us, to the great 

All. Hurrah, for the great Egmont ! Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 

Jetter. Had they but appointed him Regent, instead of 
Margaret of Parma ! 

SoEST. Not so ! Truth is truth ! I'll not hear Margaret 
abused. Now it is my turn. Long live our gracious lady ! 

All. Long life to her ! 

SoEST. Truly, there are excellent women in that family. 
Long live the Regent ! 

Jetter. She is prudent and moderate in all she does; 
if she would only not hold so fist to the priests. It is partly 
her fault, too, that we have the fourteen new mitres in the 
land. Of what use are they, I should like to know ? Why, 
that foreigners may be shoved into the good benefices, where 
formerly abbots were chosen out of the chapters ! And we're 
to believe it's for the sake of religion. We know better. 
Three bishops were enough for us ; things went on decently 
and reputably. Now each must busy himself as if he were 
needed ; and this gives rise every mom.ent to dissensions and 
ill-will. And the more you agitate the matter, the worse it 
grows. l^'-They drink. 

SoEST. But it was the will of the king ; she cannot alter 
it, one way or another. 

Jetter. Then we may not even sing the new psalms; 
but ribald songs, as many as we please. And why ? There 
is heresy in them, they say, and heaven knows what. I have 
Bung some of them, however ; they are new to be sure, but I 
see no harm in them. 

BuYCK. Ask tteir leave, forsooth ! In our province we 
smg just what we please. That's because Count Egmont is our 
.-itadtholder, who does not trouble himself about such matters* 



In Ghent, Ypres, and throngliout the whole of Flanders, any 
body sings them that chooses. {Aloud to Ruysum.) Thero 
is nothing more harmless than a spiritual song. Is there 
father ? 

Ruysum. What, indeed ! It is a godly work, and truly 

Jetter. They say, however, that they are not of the 
right sort, not of their sort, and, since it is dangerous, we 
had better leave them alone. The officers of the Inquisition 
are always lurking and spying about, and many an honest 
fellow has already fallen into their clutches. They had not 
gone so far as to meddle with conscience, that was yet wanting. 
If they will not allow me to do what I like, they might at 
least let me think and sing as I please. 

SoEST. The Inquisition won't do here. We are not 
made like the Spaniards, to let our consciences be tyrannized 
over. The nobles must look to it, and clip its wings betimes. 

Jetter. It is a great bore. Whenever it comes into 
their worships' heads to break into my house, and I am 
sitting there at my work, humming a French psalm, thinking 
nothing about it, neither good nor bad; singing it just 
because it is in my throat ; forthwith I'm a heretic, and am 
clapped into prison. Or if I am passing through the country, 
and stand near a crowd listening to a new preacher, one of 
those who have come from Germany ; instantly I'm called a 
rebel, and am in danger of losing my head ! Have you ever 
heard one of these preachers ? 

SoEST. Brave fellows! Not long ago, I heard one of 
them preach in a field, before thousands and thousands of 
people. A different sort of dish he gava us from that of our 
humdrum preachers, who, from the pulpit, choke their 
hearers with scraps of Latin. He spoke from his heart ; told 
us how we had, till now, been led by the nose, how we had 
been kept in darkness, and how we might procure more 
light ; — ay, and he proved it all out of the Bible. 

J ETTER. There may be something in it. I always said 
as much, and have often pondered the matter over. It has 
long been running in my head. 

BuYCK. All the people run after them. 

So EST. No wonder, since they hear both what is good 
and what is new. 



Jetter. And what is it all about ? Surely they might 
hi every one preach after his own fashion. 

BuYCK. Come, sirs ! While you are talking, you forget 
the wine and the prince of Orange. 

Jetter, We must not forget him. He's a very wall of 
defence. In thinking of him, one fancies, that if one could 
only hide behind him, the devil himself could not get at one. 
Here's to William of Orange ! Hurrah ! 

All. Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 

SoEST. Now, gray beard, let's have your toast. 
RuYsuM. Here's to old soldiers ! To all soldiers ! War 
for ever ! 

BuYCK. Bravo, old fellow ! Here's to all soldiers ! War 
for ever ! 

Jetter. War ! War ! Do ye know what ye are shouting 
about? That it should slip glibly from your tongue is 
natural enough ; but what wretched work it is for us, 1 have 
not words to tell you. To be stunned the whole year round 
by the beating of the drum ; to hear of nothing except how 
one troop marched here, and another there ; how they came 
over this height, and halted near that mill ; how many were 
left dead on this field, and how many on that ; how they 
press forward, and how one wins, and another loses, without 
being able to comprehend what they are fighting about ; how 
a town is taken, how the citizens are put to the sword, and 
how it fares with the poor women and innocent children. 
This is grievous work, and then one thinks every moment , 

Here they come ! It will be our turn next." 

SoEST. Therefore every citizen must be practised in the 
use of arms. 

Jetter. Fine talking, indeed, for him who has a wife 
and children. And yet I would rather hear of soldiers than 
see them. 

BuYCK. I might take offence at that. 

Jetter. It was not intended for you, countryman. 
When we got rid of the Spanish garrison, we breathed 
freely again. 

SoEST. Faith ! They pressed on you heavy enough, 
Jetter. Mind your own business. 
SoEST. They came to sharp quarters with you. 
Jetter. Hold your tongue. 



SoES^. They drove him out of kitchen, cellar, chamber—* 
and bed. L-^^^y laugh, 

Jetter. \ou are a blockhead. 

BuYCK. Peace, sirs! Must the soldier cry peace? Since 
you will not hear anything about us, let us have a toast of 
your own — a citizen's toast. 

Jetteh. We're all ready for that ! Safety and peace ! 

SoEST. Freedom and order ! 

BuYCK. Bravo ! That will content us all. 

[_They ring their glasses together^ and joyously repeat the 
words, but in such a manner that each utters a 
diff'eretit sound, and it becomes a kind of chaunt. 
The old man listens, and at length joins m. j 
A Safety and peace ! Freedom and order ! 

Palace of the Regent, ' 
Mahgabet oe Parma, (m a hunting dress,') 
Courtiers, Pages, Servants. 

Regent. Put off the hunt, I shall not ride to-day. Bid 
Mechiavel attend me. [_Exeunt all but the Regent. 

The thought of these terrible events leaves me no repose ! 
Nothing can amuse, nothing divert my mind. These images, 
these cares, are always before me. The king will now say 
that these are the natural fruits of my kindness, of my 
clemency ; yet my conscience assures me that I have adopted 
the wisest, the most prudent course. Ought I sooner to have 
kindled, and spread abroad these flames with the breath of 
wrath ? My hope was to keep them in, to let them smoulder 
in their own ashes. Yes, my inward conviction, and my 
knowledge of the circumstances, justify my conduct in my 
own eyes, but in what light will it appear to my brother ! 
For, can it be denied that the insolence of these foreign 
teachers waxes daily more audacious? They have desecrated 
our sanctuaries, unsettled the dull minds of the people, and 
conjured up amongst them a spirit of delusion. Impure 
spirits have mingled among the insurgents, deeds horrible to 
think of have been perpetrated, and of these a circumstantial 
account must be transmitted instantly to court. Prompt and 
minute must be my communication, lest rumour outrun my 



messenger, and tlie king suspect that some particulars have 
been purposely withheld. I can see no means, severe or 
mild, by which to stem the evil. Oh, what are we great 
ones on the billows of life? "We think to control them, 
and are ourselves driven to and fro, hither and thither. 
Enter Mechiavel. 

Regent. Are the despatches to the king prepared? 

Mechiavel. In an hour they will be ready for your 

Regent. Have you made the report sufficiently circum- 
stantial ? 

Mechiavel. Full and circumstantial, as the king loves to 
have it. I relate how the rage of the iconoclasts first broke out 
at St. Omer. How a furious multitude, with stones, hatchets, 
hammers, ladders, and cords, accompanied by a few armed 
men, first assailed the chapels, churches, and convents, drove 
out the worshippers, forced the barred gates, threw every- 
thing into confusion, tore down the altars, destroyed the 
statues of the saints, defaced the pictm-es, and dashed to 
atoms, and trampled under foot, whatever came in their way 
that was consecrated and holy. How the crowd increased 
as it advanced, and how the inhabitants of Ypres opened 
their gates at its approach. How, with incredible rapidity, 
they demolished the cathedral, and burned the library of the 
bishop. How a vast multitude, possessed by the like frenzy, 
dispersed themselves through Menin, Comines, Verviers, 
Lille, nowhere encountered opposition; and how, through 
almost the whole of Flanders, in a single moment, the 
monstrous conspiracy broke forth, and accomplished its 

Regent. Alas ! Your recital rends my heart anew ; and 
the fear that the evil will increase, adds to my grief. Tell 
me your thoughts, Mechiavel ! 

Mechiavel. Pardon me, your Highness, my thoughts will 
appear to you but as idle fancies ; and thcugh you always seem 
well satisfied with my services, you have seldom felt inclined 
to follow my advice, How often have you said in jest : " You 
jsee too far, Mechiavel ! You should be an historian ; he who 
acts, must provide for the exigence of the hour." And yet, 
have I not predicted this terrible histoiy ? Have I not fore* 
seen it all ? 



Regent. I too can foresee many things, withotit being 
able to avert them. 

Mechiavel. In one word, then : — ^you will not be able 
to suppress the new fliith. Let it be recognized, separate its 
votaries from the true believers, give them churches of theii- 
own, include theDi within the pale of social order, subject 
them to the restraints of law, — do this, and you will at once 
tranquillize the insurgents. All other measures will prove 
abortive, and you will depopulate the country. 

Regent. Have you forgotten with what aversion the 
mere suggestion of toleration was rejected by my brother: 
Know you not, how in every letter he urgently recommends 
to me the maintenance of the true faith ? That he will not 
hear of tranquillity and order being restored at the expense 
of religion? Even in the provinces, does he not maintain 
spies, unknown to us, in order to ascertain who inclines to 
the new doctrines ? Has he not, to our astonishment, named 
to us this or that individual residing in our very neighbour- 
hood, who, without its being known, was obnoxious to the 
charge of heresy ? Does he not enjoin harshness and seve- 
rity ? and am I to be lenient ? Am I to recommend for his 
adoption measures of indulgence and toleration? Should I 
not thus lose all credit with him, and at once forfeit his con- 
fidence ? 

Mechiavel. I know it. The king commands and puts 
you in full possession of his intentions. You are to restore 
tranquillity and peace by measures which cannot fail still 
more to embitter men's minds, and wluch must inevitably 
kindle the flames of war from one exti'cmity of the country to 
the other. Consider well what you are doing. The prin- 
cipal merchants are infected — nobles, citizens, soldiers. What 
avails persisting in our opinion, when everything is changing 
around us? Oh, that some good genius would suggest to 
Philip that it better becomes a monarch to govern subjects 
of two different creeds, than to exite them to mutual 
destruction ! 

Regent. Never let me hear such words again. Full well 
I know that the policy of statesmen rarely maintains truth 
and fidelity ; that it excludes from the heart, candour, charity, 
toleration. In secular affairs, this is, alas! only too true ; but 
ehall we trifle with God as we do with each other ? Shall 



be indiflPerent to our established faith, for the sake of which 
80 many have sacrificed their lives ? Shall we abandon it ta 
these far-fetched, uncertain, and self-contradicting heresies ? 

Mechiavel. Think not the worse of me for what I 
have uttered. 

Regent. I know you and your fidelity. I know too that 
a man may be both honest and sagacious, and yet miss the 
best and nearest way to the salvation of his soul. There are 
others, Mechiavel, men whom I esteem, yet whom I needs 
must blame. 

Mechiavel. To whom do you refer ? 

Regent. I must confess that Egmont caused me to-day 
deep and heart-felt annoyance. 

Mechiavel. How so ? 

Regent. By his accustomed demeanour, his usual in-' 
difierence and levity. I received the fatal tidings as I was 
leaving church, attended by him and several others. I did 
not restrain my anguish, I broke forth into lamentations, loud 
and deep, and turning to him, exclaimed, " See what is going 
on in your province ! Do you suffer it, count, you, in whom 
the king confided so implicitly?" 

Mechiavel. And what was his reply ? 

Regent. As if it were a mere trifle, an affair of no 
moment, he answered ; " Were the Netherlanders but satis- 
fied as to their constitution, the rest would soon follow." 

Mechiavel. There was, perhaps, more truth than dis- 
cretion or piety in his words. How can we hope to acquire 
and to maintain the confidence of the Netherlander, when he 
see? that we are more interested in appropriating his posses- 
sions, than in promoting his welfare, temporal or spiritual ? 
Does the number of souls saved by the new bishops exceed 
that of the fat benefices they have swallowed ? And are they 
not for the most part foreigners ? As yet, the office of stadt- 
holder has been held by Netherlanders ; but do not the 
Spaniards betray their great and irresistible desire to possess 
themselves of these places? Will not people prefer being 
governed by their own countrymen, and according to their 
ancient customs, rather than by foreigners, who, from their 
first entrance into the land, endeavour to enrich themselves 
at the general expense, who measure everything by a foreiga 
standard, and who exercise their authority without cordiality 
or sympathy ? 



Regent. You take part with our opponents ? 

Mechiavel. Assuredly not in my heart. Would that 
with my understanding I could be wholly on our side ! 

Regent. If such your disposition, it were better I should 
resign the regency to them ; for both Egmont and Orange 
entertained great hopes of occupying this position. Then 
they were adversaries, now they are leagued against me, and 
have become friends, — inseparable friends. 

Mechiavel. A dangerous pair. 

Regent. To speak candidl3% I fear Orange.— I fear for 
Egmont. — Orange meditates some dangerous scheme, his 
thoughts are far-reaching, he is reserved, appears to accede 
to everything, never contradicts, and while maintaining the 
show of reverence, with clear foresight accomplishes his own 

Mechiayee. Egmont, on the contrary, advances with a 
bold step, as if the world v ere all his own. 

Regent. He bears his head as proudly, as if the hand of 
majesty were not suspended over him. 

Mechiayel. The eyes of all the people are fixed upon 
him, and he is the idol of their hearts. 

Regent. He has never assumed the least disguise, and 
carries himself as if no one had a right to call him to account. 
He still bears the name of Egmont. Count Egmont is the 
title by which he loves to hear himself addressed, as though 
he would fain be reminded that his ancestors were masters of 
Guelderland. Why does he not assume his proper title,— 
Prince of Gaure ? What object has he in view ? Would he 
again revive extinguished claims ? 

Mechiayel. I hold him for a faithful servant of the 

Regent. W^ere he so inclined, what important service 
could he not render to the government ; whereas now, without 
benefiting himself, he has caused us unspeakable vexation. 
His banquets and entertainments have done more to unite 
the nobles and to knit them together, than the most dan- 
gerous secret associations. W^ith his toasts, his guests have 
drunk in a permanent intoxication, a giddy frenzy, that never 
subsides. How often have his facetious jests stirred up the 
minds of the populace.^ and what an excitement was pro- 
duced among the mob. by the new liveries, and the extra* 
vagant devices of his folio wert> ! 



Mechiavel. I am convinced he had no design. 

Regent. Be that as it may, it is bad enough. As I said 
oefore, he injures us without benefiting himself. He treats 
as a jest matters of serious import ; and not to appear negli- 
gent and remiss, we are forced to treat seriously what he 
intended as a jest. Thus one urges on the other ; and what 
we are endeavouring to avert is actually brought to pass. 
He is more dangerous than the acknowledged head of a con- 
spiracy ; and I am much mistaken if it is not all remembered 
against him at court. I cannot deny that scarcely a day 
passes in which he does not wound me, deeply wound me. 

Mechiavel. He appears to me to act on all occasions 
according to the dictates of his conscience. 

Regent. His conscience has a convenient mirror. His 
demeanour is often offensive. He carries himself as if he 
felt he were the master here, and were withheld by courtesy 
alone from making us feel his supremacy ; as if he would not 
exactly drive us out of the country ; there'll be no need for that. 

Mechiavel. I entreat you, put not too harsh a construc- 
tion upon his frank and joyous temper, w^hich treats lightly 
matters of serious moment. You but injure yourself and him. 

Regent. I interpret nothing. I speak only of inevitable 
consequences, and I know him. His patent of nobility, and 
the golden fleece upon his breast, strengthen his confidence, 
his audacity. Both can protect him against any sudden out- 
break of royal displeasure. Consider the matter closely, and 
he is alone responsible for the disorders that have broken out 
in Flanders. From the first, he connived at the proceedings 
of the foreign teachers, avoided stringent measures, and per- 
haps rejoiced in secret, that they gave us so much to do. 
Let me alone ; on this occasion, I will give utterance to that 
v/hich weighs upon my heart ; I will not shoot my arrow in 
vain. I know where he is vulnerable. For he is vulnerable 

Mechiavel. Have you summoned the council.^ Will 
Orange attend ? 

Regent. I have sent for him to Antwerp. I will lay 
upon their shoulders the burden of responsibility ; they shall 
either strenuously co-operate with me in quelling the evil, or 
at once declare themselves rebels. Let the letters be com* 
pleted without delay, and bring them for my signature. 
Then hasten to dispatch the trusty Vasca to Madrid ; he ie 



faitliflU and indefatigable ; let him use all diligence, that ho 
may not be anticipated by common report, that my brother 
may receive the intelligence first through him. I wiil myself 
speak with him ere he departs. 

Mechiavel. Your orders shall be promptly and punc- 
tually obeyed. 

CitizerCs house. 

CiiAKA. Her Mother. Brackenbtjrg. 

Clara. "Will you not hold the yarn for me, Brackenburg ? 
Brackenburg, I entreat you, excuse me, Clara. 
Clara. What ails you? Why refuse me this trifling 
service ? 

Brackenburg. When I hold the yarn, I stand as it were 
spell-bound before you, and cannot escape your eyes. 

Clara. Nonsense ! Come and hold ! 

Mother {knitting in her arm-chair). Give us a song ! 
Brackenburg sings so good a second. You used to be merry 
once, and I had always something to laugh at. 

Brackenburg. Once ! 

Clara. Well, let us sing. 

Brackenburg. As you please. 

Clara. Merrily, then, and sing away! 'Tis a soldier's 
song, my favourite. 

[JShe wi7ids yarn, and sings with Brat keiiburffQ 

The drum is resounding, 
And shrill the fife plays, 
My love for the battle. 
His brave troop arrays. 
He lifts his lance high 
And the people he sways. 
My blood it is boiling 1 
My heart throbs pit-pat I 
Oh, had I a jacket, 
With hose and with hat ! 

How boldly I'd follow. 
And march through the gate ; 
Through all the wide province 
I'd follow him straight. 
The foe yield, we capture 
Or shoot them ! Ah, mc! 
What heart- thrilling rapture 
A soldier to bo 1 



{During the song, BracJcenhurg has frequently looTced at Clura^ 
at length his voice /alters, his eyes Jill with tears, he lets 
the skeiii fall, and goes to the window. Clara finishes 
the song alone, her mother motions to her, half displeased, 
she rises, advarfces a few steps towards him, turns hack, 
as if irresolute, and again sits down."] 
Mother. What is going on in the street, Brackenburg ^ 
I. hear soldiers marching. 

Brackenburg. It is the Regent's body-guard. 
Clara. At this hour ? What can it mean ? [She rises 
and joins Brackenburg at the window.'] That is not the 
daily guard ; it is more numerous ! almost all the troops ! 
Oh, Brackenburg, do go ! Learn what it means. It must 
be something unusual. Go, good Brackenburg, do me this 

Brackenburg. I am going ! I will return immediately. 
[He offers his hand to Clara, and she gives him hers. 

[Exit Brackenburg. 

Mother. Do you send him away so soon ! 

Clara. I long to know what is going on ; and, besides, — 
do 'not be angry, mother, — his presence pains me. I never 
know how I ought to behave towards him. I have done him 
a wrong, and it goes to my very heart, to see how deeply he 
feels it. Well, — it can't be helped now ! 

Mother. He is such a true-hearted fellow ! 

Clara. I cannot help it, I must treat him kindly. Often, 
without a thought, I return the gentle loving pressure of his 
hand. I reproach myself that I am deceiving him, that I am 
nourishing in his heart a vain hope. I am in a sad plight. 
God knows, I do not willingly deceive him. I do not wish 
him to hope, yet I cannot let him despair ! 

Mother. That is not as it should be. 

Clara. I liked him once, and in my soul I like him still. 
I could have married him ; yet I believe I was never really 
in love with him. 

Mother. You would have been always happy with him. 

Clara. I should have been provided for, and have led a 
quiet life. 

Mother. And it has all been trifled away through your 
own folly. 

Clara. I am in a strange position. When I think how 



it has come to pass, I know it, indeed, and I know it not. 
But I have only to look upon Egmont, and I understand it 
all ; ay, and stranger things would seem natural then. Oh, 
what a man he is All the provinces worship him. And in 
his arms, shall I not be the happiest creature in the world ? 

Mother. And how will it be in the future ? 

Clara. I only ask, does he love me ? — does he love me ? 
—as if there were any doubt about it. 

Mother. One has nothing but anxiety of heart with 
one's children. Always care and sorrow, whatever may be 
the end of it ! It cannot come to good i Alas, you have 
made yourself wretched ! You have made your mother 
wretched too. 

Clara (^quietly). Yet, you allowed it in the beginning. 
Mother. Alas, I was too indulgent, I am always too 

Clara. When Egmont rode by, and I ran to the window, 
did you chide me then ? Did you not come to the window 
yourself? When he looked up, smiled, nodded, and greeted 
me ; was it displeasing to you Did you not feel honoured 
in your daughter ? 

Mother. Go on with your reproaches. 

Clara {with emotion). Then, when he passed more fre- 
quently, and we felt sure that it was on my account that he 
came this way, did you not remark it, yourself, with secret 
joy .'^ Did you call me away, when I stood at the closed 
window waiting for him ? 

Mother. Could I imagine that it would go so far ? 

Clara {with faltering voice, and repressed tears). And 
then, one evening, when, enveloped in his mantle, he sur- 
prised us as we sat at our lamp, who busied herself in receiving 
him, while I remained, lost in astonishment, as if fastened to 
my chair ? 

Mother. Could I imagine that the prudent Clara would 
so soon be carried away by this unhappy love ? I must now 
endure that my daughter — 

Clara {bursting into tears). Mother! How can you? 
You take pleasure in tormenting me. 

Mother {weeping). Ay, weep away ! Make me yet more 
v/retched by your grief. Is it not misery enough that my 
only daughter is a east-a-way? 



CxABA {rising, and spealcing coldly). A cast-away! The 
beloved of Egmont, a cast-away ?— What princess but would 
enyy the poor Clara her place in his heart ? Oh, mother,— 
my own mother, you were not wont to speak thus ! Dear 
mother, be kind ! — Let the people think, let the neighbours 
whisper what tliey like, — this chamber, this lowly house is a 
paradise, since Egmont's love dwelt here. 

Mother. One cannot help liking him?, that is true. He 
is always so kind, frank, and open-hearted. 

Clara. There is not a drop of false blood in his veins. 
And then, mother, he is indeed thp great Egmont ; yet, when 
he comes to me, how tender he is, how kind ! How he tries 
to conceal from me his rank, his bravery ! How anxious he 
is about me ! so entirely the man, the friend, the lover. 

Mother. Do you expect him to-day ? 

Ceara. Have you not noticed how often I go to the win- 
dow ? How I listen to every noise at the door ? Though I 
know that he will not come before night, yet, from the time 
when I rise in the morning, I keep expecting him every 
moment. Were I but a boy, to follow him always, to the 
court and everywhere ! Could I but carry his colours in the 
field ! 

Mother. You were always such a lively, restless crea- 
ture ; even as a little child, now wild, now thoughtful. Will 
you not dress yourself a little better ? 

Clara. Perhaps I may, if I want something to do. — 
Yesterday, some of his people went by, singing songs in his 
honour. At least his name was in the songs ! I could not 
understand the rest. My heart leaped up into my throat, — 
I would fain have called them back if I had not felt ashamed. 

Mother. Take care ! Your impetuous nature will ruin 
all. You will betray yourself before the people ; as, not long 
ago, at your cousin's, when you found the wood-cut with the 
description, and exclaimed, with a cry: " Count Egmont !" — • 
I grew as red as fire. 

Clara. Could I help crying out ? It was the battle of 
Gravelines, and I found in the picture, the letter C, and then 
looked for it in the description below. There it stood, " Count 
Egmont, with his horse shot under him." I shuddered, and 
afterwards I could not help laughing at the wood-cut figure 
of Egmont, as tall as the neighbouring tower of Gravelines, 



and the English ships at the side. — ^When I remember how I 
ased to conceive of a battle, and what an idea I had, as a 
girl, of Count Egmont, when I listened to descriptions of him, 
and of all the other earls and princes ; — and think how it 
is with me now ! 

Enter Brackenburg. 
Clara. Well, what is going on ? 

Brackenburg. Nothing certain is known. It is ru- 
moured that an insurrection has lately broken out in Flan- 
ders ; the Regent is afraid of its spreading here. The castle 
is strongly garrisoned, the citizens are crowding to the gates, 
and the streets are thronged with people. I will hasten at 
once to my old father. \_as if about to go. 

Clara. Shall we see you to-morrow ? I must change my 
dress a little. I am expecting my cousin, and I look too 
untidy. Come, mother, help me a moment. Take the book, 
Brackenburg, and biing me such another story. 

Mother. Farewell. 

Brackenburg {extending his hand). Your hand ! 

Clara {refusing hers). When you come next. 

\_Exeunt Mother and Daijghtek. 

Brackenburg (alone). I had resolved to go away again 
at once, and yet, when she takes me at my word, and lets me 
leave her, I feel as if I could go mad. — Wretched man ! Does 
the fate of thy fatherland, does the growing disturbance fail 
to move thee ? — Are countryman and Spaniard the same to 
thee ? and carest thou not who niles, and who is in the right ? 
— I was a different sort of fellow as a schoolboy !— Then, 
when an exercise in oratory was given ; " Brutus' speech 
for liberty," for instance, Fritz was ever the first; and the 
rector would say: "If it were only spoken more delibe- 
rately, the words not all huddled together." — Then my blood 
boiled, and I longed for action ; — Now I drag along, bound 
by the eyes of a maiden. I cannot leave her ! yet she, alas, 
cannot love me ! — ah — no — she — she cannot have entirely 
rejected me — not entirely — yet half love is no love ! — I will 
endure it no longer ! — Can it be true, what a friend lately 
whispered in my ear, that she secretly admits a man into the 
house by night, when she always sends me away modestly 
before evening ? No, it cannot be true ! It is a lie ! A base, 
glanderous, lie ! Clara is as innocent as I am wretched.— 



She has rejected me, has thrust me from her heart — and shall 
I live on thus ? I cannot, I will not endure it. Already my 
native land is convulsed by internal strife, and do I perish 
abjectly amid the tumult ? I will not endure it ! When the 
trumpet sounds, when a shot falls, it thrills through my bone 
and marrow ! But, alas, it does not rouse me ! It does not 
summon me to join the onslaught, to rescue, to dare. — 
Wretched, degrading position ! Better end it at once ! Not 
long ago, I threw myself into tlie water ; I sank — ^but nature 
in her agony was too strong for me ; I felt that I could swim, 
and saved myself against my will. Could I but forget the 
time when she loved me, seemed to love me ! — ^Why has this 
happiness penetrated my very bone and marrow ? Why have 
these hopes, while disclosing to me a distant paradise, con- 
sumed all the enjoyment of life ? — And that first, that only 
kiss !— Here {laying his hand upon the table), here we were 
alone, — she had always been kind and friendly towards 
me, — ^then she seemed to soften, — she looked at me, — ^my 
brain reeled, — I felt her lips on mine, — and — and now ?— 
Die, wretch ! Why dost thou hesitate ? {He draws a phial 
from his pocket.) Thou healing poison, it shall not have 
been in vain that I stole thee from my brother's medicine 
chest ! From this anxious fear, this dizziness, this death- 
agony, thou shalt deliver me at once. 


Square in Brussels, 

Jetter and a Master Cakpenter (meeting). 

Carpenter. Did I not tell you beforehand? Eight 
days ago, at the guild, I said there would be serious dis- 

Jetter. Is it then true that they have plundered the 
churches in Flanders ? 

Carpenter. They have utterly destroyed both churches 
and chapels. They have left nothing standing but the four 
bare walls. The lowest rabble ! And this it is that damages 
our good cause. We ought rather to have laid our claims 
before the Regent, formally and decidedly, and then have 

stood by them. If we now speak, if we now assemble, it 
will be said that we are joining the rebels. 

Jettek. Ay, so every one thinks at first. Mlcij should 
you thrust your nose into the mess ? The neck is closely 
connected with it. 

Carpentek. T am always uneasy when tumults arise 
among the mob, among people who have nothing to lose. 
They use as a pretext that to which we also must appeal, and 
plunge the country in misery. 

Enter Soest. 

SoEST. Good day, sirs! What news? Is it true that 
the insurgents are coming straight in this direction ? 

Carpentek. Here they shall touch nothing, at any rate. 

Soest. A soldier came into my shop just now to buy 
tobacco ; I questioned him about the matter. The Regent, 
though so brave and prudent a lady, has for once lost her 
presence of mind. Things must be bad indeed when she 
thus takes refuge behind her guards. The castle is strongly 
garrisoned. It is even rumoured that she means to fly from 
the town. 

Carpenter. Forth she shall not go ! Her presence 
protects us, and we will ensiu'e her safety better than her 
mustachioed gentry. If she only maintains our rights and 
privileges, we will stand faithfully by her. 

Enter a Soapboiler. 

Soapboiler. An ugly business this ! a bad business ! 
Troubles are beginning ; all things are going wrong ! Mind 
you keep quiet, or they'll take you also for rioters. 

SoEST. Here come the seven wise men of Greece. 

Soapboiler. I know there are many who in secret hold 
with the Calvinists. abuse the bishops, and care not for the 
king. But a loyal subject, a sincere Catholic ! — 

[By degrees others join the speakers and listen. 
Enter Vansen. 

Vansen. God save you, sirs ! What news ? 

Carpenter. Have nothing to do with him, he's a dan- 
gerous fellow. 

Jetter. Is he not secretary to Dr. Wiets ? 

Carpenter. He has already had several masters. First 
he was a clerk, and as one patron after another turned hira 
oflP, on account of Ids roguish tricks, he now dabbles in the 



business of notary and advocate, and is a brandy-di-inker to 
boot. [^More people gather round and stand in groups. 

Van SEN". So here you are, putting your heads together. 
Well, it is worth talking about. 

SoEST. I think so too. 

Van SEN. Now if only one of you had heart and another 
head enough for the work, we might break the Spanish 
fetters at once. 

SoEST. Sirs! you must not talk thus. We have taken 
our oath to the king. 

Van SEN. And the king to us. Mark that! 

Jetter. There's sense in that ! Tell us your opinion. 

Others. Hearken to him; he's a clever fellow. He's 
sharp enough. 

Vansen. I had an old master once, who possessed a col- 
lection of parchments, among which were charters of ancient 
constitutions, contracts, and privileges. He set great store, 
too, by the rarest books. One of these contained our whole 
constitution ; how, at first, we Netherlanders had princes of 
our own, who governed according to hereditary laws, rights, 
and usages ; how om* ancestors paid due honour to thei? 
sovereign so long as he governed them equitably ; and how 
they were immediately on their guard the moment he was 
for overstepping his bounds. The states were down upon 
him at once ; for every province, however small, had its own 
chamber and representatives. 

Carpenter. Hold your tongue ! We knew that long 
ago ! Every honest citizen learns as much about the consti- 
tution as he needs. 

Jetter. Let him speak; one may always learn some- 

SoEST. He is quite right. 

Several Citizens. Go on ! Go on ! One does not hear 
this every day. 

Vansen. You citizens, forsooth ! You live only in the 
present ; and as you tamely follow the trade inherited from 
your fathers, so you let the government do with you just as 
it pleases. You make no inquiry into the origin, the history, 
or the rights of a Regent ; and in consequence of this negli- 
gence, the Spaniard has drawn the net over your ears. 

Soest. Who cares for that, if one has only daily bread I 



Jetter. The devil ! Why did not some one come for- 
ward and tell us this in time ? 

Vansen. I tell it you now. The King of Spain, whoso 
good fortune it is to bear sway over these provinces, has no 
right to govern them otherwise than the petty princes who 
formerly possessed them separately. Do you understand 
that r* 

Jetter. Explain it to us. 

Vansen. Why, it is as clear as the sun. Must you not 
be governed according to your provincial laws ? How comes 
that ? 

A Citizen. Certainly ! 

Vansen. Are not the laws of Brussels different from 
those of Antwerp ? The laws of Antwerp different from 
those of Ghent ? How comes that ? 

Another Citizen. By heaven ! 

Van SEN. But if you let matters run on thus, they will 
soon tell you a different story. Fye on you ! Philip, through 
a woman, now ventures to do what neither Charles the Bold, 
Frederick the Warrior, nor Charles the Fifth could accompKsh. 

SoEST. Yes, yes ! The old princes tried it also. 

Vansen. Ay ! But our ancestors kept a sharp look-oul 
If they thought themselves aggrieved by their sovereign, they 
would perhaps get his son and heir into their hands, detain 
him as a hostage, and surrender him only on the most favour- 
able conditions. Our fathers were men ! They knew their 
own interests ! They knew how to lay hold on what they 
wanted, and to get it established ! They were men of the 
right sort ; and hence it is that our privileges are so clearly 
defined, our liberties so well secured. 

SoEST. What are you saying about our liberties ? 

All. Our liberties! our privileges! Tell us about our 

Vansen. All the provinces have their peculiar advantages, 
but we of Brabant are the most splendidly provided for. I 
have read, it aU. 

SoEST. Say on. 

Jetter. Let us hear. 

A Citizen. Pray do. 

Vansen. First, it stands written : — ^The Duke of Biubaat 
shall be to us a good and faithful sovereign. 


SoEST. Good ! Stands it so ? 
Jetter. Faithful ? Is that true ? 

Vansen. As I tell you. He is bounc to us as we are to 
liim. Secondly; — in the exercise of his authority he shall 
neither exert arbitrary power, nor exhibit caprice, himself, 
nor shall he, (hither directly or indirectly, sanction them in 

Jetter. Bravo ! Bravo ! Not exert arbitrary power. 
SoEST. Not exhibit caprice. 

Another. And not sanction them in others ! That is 
the main point. Not sanction them, either directly or in- 

Vansen. In express words. 

Jetter. Get us the book. 

A Citizen. Yes, we must have it. 

Others. The book ! The book ! 

Another. We will to the Regent with the book. 

Another. Sir doctor, you shall be spokesman. 

Soapboiler. Oh, the dolts ! 

Others. Something more out of ihe book ! 

Soapboiler. I'll knock his teett down his throat if he 
says another word. 

People. We'll see who dares to lay hands upon hiir^ 
Tell us about our pri^dleges ! Have we any more privileges^ ? 

Vansen. Many, very good and very wholesome ones too. 
Thus it stands : The sovereign shall neither benefit the 
clergy, nor increase their number, without the consent of the 
riobles and of the states. Mark that! Nor shall he alter 
the constitution of the country. 

SoEST. Stands it so r 

Vansen. I'll show it you, as it was written down two or 
three centuries ago. 

A Citizen. And we tolerate the new bishops ? The 
nobles must protect us, we will make a row else ! 

Others. And we suffer ourselves to be intimidated by 
ithe Inquisition? 

Vansen. It is your own fault. 

People. We have Egmont! We have Orange! Thev 
will protect our interests. 

Vansen. Your brothers in Flanders are beginning the 
good work. 

z 2 



SoAPBOiLEn. Dog ! [Stiikes Mm. 

Otheks oppose the Soapeoiler and exclaim, Are you also 
a Spaniard? 

Another. What ! This honourable man ? 
Another. This learned man ? 

[_They attach the Soapboiler. 
Carpenter. For heaven's sake, peace ! 

\_Others mingle in the fray. 
Carpenter. Citizens, what means this ? 

\_Boys whistle, throw stones, set on dogs; citizens stand 
and gape, people come running up, others walk quietly 
to and fro, others play all sorts of pranks, shout and 

Others. Freedom and privilege ! Privilege and freedom ! 
Enter Egmont, with followers. 

Egmont. Peace ! Peace ! good people. What is the 
matter ? Peace, I say ! Separate them. 

Carpenter. My good lord, you come like an angel from 
heaven. Hush ! See you nothing ? Count Egmont ! Greet 
Count Egmont. 

Egmont. Here, too! What are you about? Citizen 
against citizen! Does not even the neighbourhood of our 
royal mistress oppose a barrier to this frenzy? Disperse 
yourselves, and go about your business. 'Tis a bad sign 
when you thus keep holiday on working days. How did the 
disturbance begin. 

[_21ie tumult gradually subsides, and the people gather 
around Egmont. 

Carpenter. They are fighting about their privileges. 

Egmont. Which they will forfeit through their own 
folly — and who are you ? You seem honest people. 

Carpenter. 'Tis our wish to be so. 

Egmont. Your calling ? 

Carpenter. A carpenter, and master of the guild. 
Egmont. And you ? 
Soest. a shopkeeper. 
Egmont. And you ? 
Jetter. a tailor. 

Egmont. I remember, you were employed upc!3 the 
liveries of my people. Your name is Jetter. 

J etter. To think of your grace remembering it I 



Egmont. I do not easily forget any one whom I have 
seen or conversed with. Do what you can, good people, to 
keep the peace ; you stand in bad repute enough already. 
Provoke not the king still farther. The power, after all is 
in his hands. An honest citizen, who maintains himself, 
industriously, has everywhere as much freedom as he wants. 

Cakpentee. That now is just our misfortune ! With all 
due deference, your grace, 'tis the idle portion of the com- 
munity, your drunkards and vagabonds, who quarrel for want 
of something to do, and clamour about privilege because they 
are hungry ; they impose upon the curious and the credulous, 
and in order to obtain a pot of beer, excite distm^bances that 
will bring misery upon thousands. That is just what they 
want. We keep our houses and chests too well guarded ; 
they would fain drive us away from them with fire-brands. 

Egmont. You shall have all needful assistance ; measures 
have been taken to stem the evil by force. Make a firm 
stand against the new doctrines, and do not imagine that 
privileges are secured by sedition. Remain at home, suffe^ 
no crowds to assemble in the streets. Sensible people can 
accomplish much. 

[_In the meantime the crowd has for the most part dispersed. 

Carpenter. Thanks, your excellency — thanks for your 
good opinion. We will do what in us lies. {Exit Egmont.) 
A gracious lord ! A true Netherlander ! Nothing of the 
Spaniard about him. 

Jetter. If we had only him for a regent ! 'Tis a plea- 
sure to follow him. 

SoEST. The king won't hear of that. He takes care to 
appoint his own people to the place. 

J ETTER. Did you notice his dress ? It was of the newest 
fashion — after the Spanish cut. 

Carpenter. A handsome gentleman. 

Jetter. His head now were a dainty morsel for a heads- 

SoEST. Are you mad ? What are you thinking about ? 

Jetter. It is stupid enough that such an idea should 
come into one's head ! But so it is. Whenever I see a fine 
long neck, I cannot help thinking how well it would suit the 
block. These cursed executions ! One cannot get them out 
of one's head. When the lads are swimming, and I chance 



to see a naked back, I think forthwith of the dozens I have 
seen beaten with rods. If I meet a portly gentleman, I faiicy 
I already see him roasting at the stake. At night, in my 
dreams, I am tortured in every limb ; one cannot have a 
single hour's enjoyment ; all merriment and fun have long 
been forgotten. These terrible images seem burnt in upon 
my brain. 

Egmonfs residence. 

His Secretary {at a deslc with papers. He rises impatiently). 

Still he comes not ! And I have been waiting already full 
two hours, pen in hand, the papers before me ; and just to- 
day I was anxious to be out so early. The floor burns under 
my feet. I can with dijfficulty restrain my impatience. " Be 
punctual to the hour." Such was his parting injunction; 
now he comes not. There is so much business to get 
thi'ough, I shall not have finished before midnight. He 
overlooks one's faults, it is true ; methinks it would be 
better though, were he more strict, so he dismissed one at the 
appointed time. One could then arrange one's plans. It is 
now full two hours since he left the Eegent ; who knows 
whom he may have chanced to meet by the way ? 

Enter Egmont. 

Egmont. Well, how do matters look ? 

Secretary. I am ready, and three couriers are waiting. 

Egmont. I have detained you too long ; you look some- 
what out of humom\ 

Secretary. In obedience to your command I have al- 
ready been in attendance for some time. Here are the 
papers ! 

Egmont. Donna Elvira will be angry with me, when she 
learns that I have detained you. 

Secretary. You are pleased to jest. 

Egmont. Nay, be not ashamed. I admire your taste. 
She is pretty, and I have no objection that you should have 
a friend at court. What say the letters ? 

Secretary. Much, my lord, but withal little that is 

Egmont. 'Tis well that we have pleasures at home, wo 
have the less occasion to seek them from abroad. Is there 
much that requires attention ? 



Secretary. Enough, my lord; three couriers are in 

Egmont. Proceed ! The most important. 

Secretary. All is important. 

Egmont. One after the other ; only be prompt. 

Secretary. Captain Breda sends an account of the oc 
curences that have further taken place in Ghent and the 
surrounding districts. The tumult is for the most part aUayed. 

Egmont. He doubtless reports individual acts of folly and 
temerity ? 

Secretary. He does, my lord. 

Egmont. Spare me the recital. 

Secretary. Six of the mob who tore down the image of 
the Virgin at Verviers, have been arrested. He inquires 
whether they are to be hanged like the others ? 

Egmont. I am weary of hanging; let them be fiogged and 

Secretary. There are two women among them ; are they 
to be flogged also ? 

Egmont. He may admonish them and let them go. 

Secretary. Brink, of Breda's company, wants to marry ; 
the captain hopes you will not allow it. There are so many 
women among the troops, he writes, that when on the 
march, they resemble a gang of gipsies rather than regular 

Egmont. We must overlook it in his case. He is a fine 
young fellow, and moreover entreated me so earnestly before 
I came away. This must be the last time, however ; though 
it grieves me to refuse the poor fellows their best pastime ; 
they have enough without that to torment them. 

Secretary. Two of your people, Seter and Hart, have 
ill-treated a damsel, the daughter of an inn-keeper. They 
got her alone and she could not escape from them. 

Egmont. If she be an honest maiden and they used 
violence, let them be flogged three days in succession; and if 
they have any property, let him retain as much of it as will 
portion the girl. 

Secretary. One of the foreign preachers has been dis- 
covered passing secretly through Comines. He swore that 
he was on the point of leaving for France. According to 
law, he ought to be beheaded. 



Egmont. Let him be conducted quietly to the frontier^ 
and there admonished, that, the next time, he will not escape 
so easily. 

Secretary. A letter from your steward. He writes that 
money comes in slowly, he can with difficulty send you the 
required sum within the week ; the late distm-bances have 
thrown everything into the greatest confusion. 

Egmont. Money must be had ! It is for him to look to 
the means. 

Secketary. He says he will do his utmost, and at 
length proposes to sue and imprison Raymond, who has been 
so long in your debt. 

Egmont. But he has promised to pay ! 

Secretary. The last time he fixed a fortnight himself. 

Egmont. Well, grant him another fortnight ; after that 
he may proceed against him. 

Secretary. You do well. His non-payment of the 
money proceeds not from inability, but from want of inclina- 
tion. He will trifle no longer when he sees that you are in 
earnest. The steward further proposes to withhold, for half a 
month, the pensions which you allow to the old soldiers, 
widows, and others. In the meantime some expedient may 
be devised ; they must make their arrangements accordingly. 

Egmont. But what arrangements can be made here? 
These poor people want the money more than I do. He must 
not think of it. 

Secretary. How then, my lord, is he to raise the 
required sum ? 

Egmont. It is his business to think of that. He was 
told so in a former letter. 

Secretary. And therefore he makes these proposals. 

Egmont. They will never do; — ^he must think of some- 
thing else. Let him suggest expedients that are admissible, 
and, before all, let him procure the money. 

Secretary, I have again before me the letter from Count 
Oliva. Pardon my recalling it to your remembrance. 
Before all others, the aged count deserves a detailed reply. 
You proposed writing to him with your own hand. Doubt- 
less, he loves you as a father. 

Egmont. I cannot command the time ; — and of all detes- 
table things, writing is to me the most detestable. You imi- 



tate my hand so admirably, do you write in my name. I am 
expecting Orange. I cannot do it ; — I wish, however, that 
something soothing should be written, to allay his fears. 

Secretary. Just give me a notion of what you wish to 
communicate ; I will at once draw up the answer, and lay it 
before you. It shall be so written that it might pass for your 
hand in a court of justice. 

Egmont. Give me the letter. {After glancing over it.) Dear, 
excellent, old man ! Wert thou then so cautious in thy 
youth? Did'st thou never mount a breach? Did'st thou 
remain in the rear of battle at the suggestion of prudence ?— 
What affectionate solicitude ! He has indeed my safety and 
happiness at heart, but considers not, that he who lives but 
to save his life, is already dead. — Charge him not to be anxi- 
ous on my account ; I act as circumstances require, and shall 
be upon my guard. Let him use his influence at coui-t in my 
favour, and be assured of my w^armest thanks. 

Secretary. Is that all ? He expects still more. 

Egmont. What more can I say ? If you choose to write 
more fully, do so. The matter turns upon a single point ; he 
would have me live as I cannot live. That I am joyous, live 
fast, take matters easily, is my good fortune ; nor w^ould I 
exchange it for his tomb-like safety. My blood rebels against 
the Spanish mode of life, nor have I the least inclination to 
regulate my movements by the new and cautious measures of 
the court. Do I live only to think of life ? Am I to forego 
the enjoyment of the present moment in order to secure the 
next ? And must that in its turn be consumed in anxieties and 
idle fears? 

Secretary, I entreat you, my lord, be not so harsh 
towards the venerable man. You are w^ont to be friendly 
towards every one. Say a kindly word to allay the anxiety of 
your noble Mend. See how considerate he is, with what 
delicacy he warns you. 

Egmont. Yet he harps continually on the same string. 
He knows of old how I detest these admonitions. They serve 
only to perplex and are of no avail. What if I were a som- 
nambulist, and trod the giddy summit of a lofty house, — were 
it the part of friendship to call me by my name, to warn mo 
of my danger, to waken, to kill me ? Let each choose his 
own path, and provide for his own safety. 



Secketaky. It may become you, my lord, to be without a 
fear, but those who know and love you 

Egmont {lookmg over the letter). Then he recalls the old 
story of our sayings and doings, one evening, in the want^a- 
ness of conviviality and wine ; and what conclusions and infe- 
rences were thence drawn and circulated throughout the 
whole kingdom! Well, we had a cap and bells embroidered 
on the sleeves of our servants' liveries, and afterwards ex- 
changed this senseless device for a bundle of arrows ; — a stiR 
more dangerous symbol for those who are bent upon disco- 
vering a meaning where nothing is meant. These and simi- 
lar follies were conceived and brought forth in a moment of 
merriment. It was at our suggestion, that a noble troop, with 
beggars' wallets, and a self- chosen nickname, with mock humi- 
lity recalled the king's duty to his remembrance. It was at 
our suggestion too — well what does it signify ? Is a carnival 
jest to be construed into high treason? Are we to be 
grudged the scanty, variegated rags, wherewith a youthful 
spirit and heated imagination would adorn the poor naked- 
ness of life ? Take life too seriously, and what is it worth ? 
If the morning wake us to no new joys, if in the evening we 
have no pleasures to hope for, is it worth the trouble of 
dressing and undressing ? Does the sun shine on me to-day, 
that I may reflect on what happened yesterday ? That I may 
endeavour to foresee and control, what can neither be fore- 
seen nor controlled, — the destiny of the morrow ? Spare me 
these reflections, we will leave them to scholars and courtiers. 
Let them ponder and contrive, creep hither and thither, and 
surreptitiously achieve their ends. — If you can make use of 
these suggestions, without swelling your letter into a volume, 
it is well. Everything appears of exaggerated importance to 
the good old man. 'Tis thus the friend, who has long held 
our hand, grasps it mere warmly ere he quits his hold. 

Secbetary. Pardon me, the pedestrian grows dizzy 
when he beholds the charioteer drive past with whirling 

Egmont. Child! Child! Forbear! As if goaded by in- 
visible spirits, the sun-steeds of time bear onward the light 
car of our destiny ; and nothing remains for us but, with calm 
self-possession, firmly to grasp the reins, and now right, now 
left, to steer the wheels, here from the precipice and there 



from the rock. Whither he is hasting, who knows? Does 
any one consider whence he came ? 
Secketary. My lord! my lord! 

Egmont. I stand high, but I can and must rise yet higher. 
Courage, stength, and hope possess my soul. Not yet have I 
attained the height of my ambition; that once achieved, I will 
stand firmly and without fear. Should I fall, should a thun- 
der-clap, a storm-blast, ay, a false step of my own, precipitate 
me into the abyss, so be it ! I shall lie there with thousands 
of others. I have never disdained, even for a trifling stake, to 
throw the bloody die with my gallant comrades ; and shall I 
hesitate now, when all that is most precious in life is set upon 
the cast? 

Secketahy. Oh, my lord! you know not what you say! 
May heaven protect you ! 

Egmont. Collect your papers. Orange is coming. Dis- 
patch what is most urgent, that the couriers may set forth 
before the gates are closed. The rest may wait. Leave the 
Count's letter till to-morrow. Fail not to visit Elvira, and 
greet her from me. Inform yourself concerning the Kegent's 
health. She cannot be well, though she would fain conceal it. 

\_Exit Seceetary. 

Filter Orange. 
Egmont. Welcome, Orange; you appear somewhat dis- 

Orange. What say you to our conference with the Regent? 

Egmont. I found nothing extraordinary in her manner 
of receiving us. I have often seen her thus before. She 
appeared to me to be somewhat indisposed. 

Orange. Marked you not that she was more reserved 
than usual? She began by cautiously approving our conduct 
during the late insurrection; glanced at the false light in 
which, nevertheless, it might be viewed; and finally turned 
the discourse to her favourite topic — that her gracious de- 
meanour, her friendship for us Netherlanders, had never 
been sufficiently recognized, never appreciated as it deserved ; 
that nothing came to a prosperous issue ; that for her part she 
was beginning to grow weary of it; that the king must at 
last resolve upon other measures. Did you hear that? 

Egmont. Not all; I was thinking at the time of some- 
thing else. She is a woman, good Orange, and all women 


expect that every one sliall submit passively to their gentio 
yoke; that every Hercules shall lay aside his lion's skin, 
assume the distaff, and swell their train ; and, because they 
are themselves peaceably inclined, imagine, forsooth, that the 
ferment which seizes a nation, the storm which powerful 
rivals excite against one another, may be allayed by one 
soothing word, and the most discordant elements be brought 
to unite in tranquil harmony at their feet. 'Tis thus with 
her; and since she cannot accomplish her object, why she has 
no resom'ce left but to lose her temper, to menace us with 
direful prospects for the future, and to threaten to take her 

Orange. Think you not that this time she wiU fulfil her 

Egmont. Never! How often have I seen her actually 
prepared for the journey! Whither should she go? Being 
here a stadtholder, a queen, think you that she could endure to 
spend her days in insignificance at her brother's court? Or 
to repair to Italy, and there drag on her existence among her 
old family connexions. 

Orange. She is held incapable of this determination, 
because you have already seen her hesitate and draw back ; 
nevertheless, it is in her to take this step; new circumstances 
may impel her to the long delayed resolve. What if she 
were to depart, and the king to send another ? 

Egmont. Why he would come, and he also would have 
business enough upon his hands. He would arrive with vast 
projects and schemes, to reduce all things to order, to subju- 
gate, and combine ; and to-day he would be occupied with 
this trifle, to-morrow with that, and the day following have 
to deal with some unexpected hindrance. He would spend 
one month in forming plans, another in mortification at their 
failure, and half a year would be consumed in cares for a 
single province. With him also time would pass, his head 
grow dizzy, and things hold on their ordinary course, till 
instead of sailing into the open sea, according to the plan 
which he had previously marked out, he might thank God, 
-if, amid the tempest^ he were able to keep his vessel off the 

Orange. What if the king were advised to try an expe- 



Egmont. Whicli should be — ? 

Orange. To try how the body would get on without the 

Egmoxt. How? 

Okange. Egmont, our interests have for years weighed 
ipon my heart; I ever stand as over a chess-board, and 
regard no move of my adversary as insignificant ; and as men 
of science carefully investigate the secrets of nature, so I hold 
it to be the duty, ay, the very vocation of a prince, to acquaint 
himself with the dispositions and intentions of all parties. I 
have reason to fear an outbreak. The king has long acted 
according to certain principles ; he finds that they do not 
lead to a prosperous issue ; what more probable than that he 
should seek it some other way? 

Egmont. I do not believe it. When a man grov>^s old, 
has attempted much, and finds that the world cannot be made 
to move according to his will, he must needs grow weary of 
it at last. 

Orange. One thing he has not yet attempted. 
Egmont. What? 

Orange. To spare the people, and put an end to the 

Egmont. How many have long been haunted by this 
dread! There is no cause for such anxiety. 

Orange. Once I felt anxious ; gradually I became suspi- 
cious ; suspicion has at length grown into certainty. 

Egmont. Has the king more faithful servants than our- 
selves ? 

Orange. We serve him after our own fashion ; and be- 
tween ourselves, it must be confessed, that we understand pretty 
well how to make the interests of the king square with our own. 

Egmont. And who does not? He has our duty and sub- 
mission, in so far as they are his due. 

Orange. But what if he should arrogate still more, and 
regard as disloyalty what we esteem the maintenance of our 
just rights ? 

Egmont. We shall know in that case how to defend our- 
selves. Let him assemble the knights of the Golden Fleece ; 
we will submit ourselves to their decision. 

Orange. What if the sentence were to precede the trial ? 
punishment, the sentence? 


EgjMONt. It were an injustice of which Philip is incapable; 
a folly, whi3h I cannot impute either to him or his counsellors* 

Okange. And how if they were both foolish and unjust ? 

Egmont. No, Orange, it is impossible. Who would ven- 
ture to lay hands on us ? The attempt to capture us were a 
fruitless enterprize. No, they dare not raise the standard of 
tp-anny so high. The breeze that should v/aft these tidings 
over the land would kindle a mighty conflagration. And 
what object would they have in view? The king alone has 
no power either to judge or to condemn us ; and would they 
attempt our lives by assassination ? They cannot intend it. 
A terrible league would unite the entire people. Direful hate, 
and eternal separation from the crown of S^Dain would, on 
the instant, be forcibly declared. 

Orange. The flames would then rage over our grave, and 
the blood of our enemies flow, a vain oblation. Let us con- 
sider, Egmont. 

Egmont. But how could they efiect this purpose ? 

Okange. Alva is on the way. 

Egmont. I do not believe it. 

Orange. I know it. 

Egmont. The Regent appeared to know nothing of it. 

Orange. And, therefore, the stronger is my conviction. 
The Regent will give place to him. I Imow his blood-thirsty 
disposition, and he brings an army with hiin. 

Egmont. To harass the provinces anew? The people 
will be exasperated to the last degree. 

Orange. Their leaders will be secured. 

Egmont. No! No! 

Oranoe. Let us retire, each to his province. There we can 
strengthen ourselves; the duke will not begin with open violence. 
Egmont. Must we not greet him when he comes? 
Orange. We will delay. 

Egmont. What if, on his arrival, he should summon us 
in the king's name. 

Orange. We will answer evasively. 

Egmont. And if he is urgent ? 

Orange. AVe will excuse ourselves. 

Bgmoft. And if he insist? 

Orange. We shall be the less disposed to come. 

Egmont. Then war is declared; and we are rebels. Do 



not suffer prudence to mislead you. Orange. I know it is not 
fear that makes you yield. Consider this step. 
Okange. I have considered it. 

Egmont. Consider for what you are answerable if you 
are wrong. For the most fatal war that ever yet desolated a 
country. Your refusal is the signal that at once summons 
the provinces to arms, that justifies every cruelty for which 
Spain has hitherto so anxiously sought a pretext. With a 
single nod, you will excite to the direst confusion what, with 
patient effort, we have so long kept in abeyance. Think of 
the towns, the nobles, the people ; think of commerce, agri- 
culture, trade ! Realize the murder, the desolation ! Calmly 
the soldier beholds his comrade fall beside him in the battle- 
field. But towards you, carried downwards by the stream, 
shall float the corpses of citizens, of children, of maidens, till, 
aghast with horror, you shall no longer know whose cause 
you are defending, since you shall see those, for whose liberty 
you drew the sword, perishing around you. And w^hat will 
be your emotions when conscience whispers, " It was for my 
own safety that I drew it." 

Orange. We are not ordinary men, Egmont. If it be- 
comes us to sacrifice ourselves for thousands, it becomes us 
no less to spare ourselves for thousands. 

Egmont. He who spares himself becomes an object of 
suspicion ever to himself. 

Okange. He who is sure of his own motives can, with 
confidence, advance or retreat. 

Egmont. Your own act will render certain the evil that 
you dread. 

Change. Wisdom and courage alike prompt us to meet 
an inevitable evil. 

Egmont. When the danger is imminent the faintest hope 
should be taken into account. 

Orange. We have not the smallest footing left; we are 
on the very brink of the precipice. 

Egmont. Is the king's favour ground so narrow? 

Orange. Not narrow, perhaps, but slippery. 

Egmont. By heavens! he is belied. I cannot endure 
that he should be so meanly thought of I He is Churies's soa 
and incapable of meanness. 

Orange. Kings of course do nothing mean. 



Egmont. He should be better known. 

Okange. Our knowledge counsels us not to await the 
result of a dangerous experiment. 

Egmont. No experiment is dangerous, the result of which 
Vie have the courage to meet. 

Orange. You are irritated, Egmont. 

Egmont. I must see with my own eyes. 

Orange. Oh that for once you saw with mine! My 
friend, because your eyes are open, you imagine that you see. 
I go! Await Alva's arrival, and God be with you! My 
refusal to do so may perhaps save you. The dragon may 
deem the prey not worth seizing, if he cannot swallow us both. 
Perhaps he may delay, in order more surely to execute his 
purpose ; in the meantime you may see matters in their true 
light. But then, be prompt ! Lose not a moment ! Save, — 
oh, save yourself ! Farewell ! — Let nothing escape your vigi- 
lance: — ^how many troops he brings with him; how he garri- 
sons the town ; what force the Eegent retains ; how your friends 
are prepared. Send me tidings — ^Egmont 

Egmont. What would you? 

Orange, {grasping his hand.) Be persuaded! Go with 

Egmont. How! Tears, Orange ! 

Orange. To weep for a lost friend is not unmanly. 

Egmont. You deem me lost? 

Orange. You are lost. Consider! Only a brief respite 
is left you. Farewell. \_Exif, 

Egmont. (alone.) Strange that the thoughts of other men 
should exert such an influence over us. These fears would 
never have entered my mind; and this man infects me with 
his solicitude. Away! 'Tis a foreign drop in my blood! 
Kind nature, cast it forth ! And to erase the furrowed lines 
from my brow there yet remains indeed a friendly means. 

EGMONT. ?58 


Palace of the Rcgcn:. 
Makgaret o/'Pakma. 

Regent. I might have expected it. Ha! Avhen we live 
anmersed in anxiety and toil, we imagine that we achieve 
the utmost that is possible ; while he, who, from a distance, 
looks on and commands, believes that he requires only the 
possible. ye kings ! I had not thought it could have 
galled me thus. It is so sweet to reign ! — and to abdicate ? 
I know not how my father could do so ; but I will also. 
[Mechiavel appears in the hack-ground. '\ 

Regent. Approach, Mechiavel. I am thinking over this 
letter from my brother. 

Mechiavel. May I know what it contains ? 

Regent. As much tender consideration for me, as anxiet}- 
for his states. He extols the firmness, the industry, the fidelity, 
with which I have hitherto watched over the interests of his 
majesty in these provinces. He condoles with me that the 
imbridled people occasion me so much trouble. He is so 
thoroughly convinced of the depth of my views, so extraordi- 
narily satisfied with the prudence of my conduct, that I must 
almost say the letter is too politely written for a king — cer- 
tainly for a brother. 

Mechiavel. It is not the first time that he has testified 
to you his just safisfaction. 

Regent. But the first time that it is a mere rhetorical 

Mechiavel. I do not understand you. 

Regent. You soon will. — For after this preamble, he is 
of opinion, that without soldiers, without a small army 
indeed, — I shall always cut a sorry figm*e here ! He intimate.-> 
that we did wrong to withdraw our troops from the provinces 
at the remonstrance of the inhabitants ; and thinks that a 
garrison w^hich shall press upon the neck of the citizen, will 
prevent him, by its weight, from making any lofty spring. 

Mechiavel. It would irritate the public mind to the lasf 


Regent. The king thinks however, — attend to this — he 
thinks that a clever general, one who never listens to reason, 
will be able to deal promptly with all parties ; — ^people and 
nobles, citizens and peasants ; he therefore sends, with a 
powerful army, the duke of Alva. 

Mechiavel. Alva r 

Regent. You are surprised. 

Mechiavel. You say, he sends, he asks doubtless whether 
^le should send. 

Regent. The king asks not, he sends. 

Mechiavel. You will then have an experienced warrior 
ii your service. 

Regent. In my service ? Speak out Mechiavel. 

Mechiavel. I would not anticipate you. 

Regent. And I would I could dissimulate. It wounds 
me — ^Avounds me to the quick. I had rather my brother 
would speak his mind, than attach his signature to formal 
epistles, drawn up by a secretary of State. 

Mechiavel. Can they not comprehend 

Regent. I know them thoroughly. They would fain 
make a clean sweep ; and since they cannot set about it 
themselves, they give their confidence to any one w^ho comes 
with a besom in his hand. Oh, it seems to me as if I saw 
the king and his council worked upon this tapestry. 

Mechiavel. So distinctly ! 

Regent. No feature is wanting. There are good men 
among them. The honest Roderigo, so experienced and so 
moderate, who does not aim too high, yet lets nothing sink 
too low; the upright Alonzo, the diligent Freneda, the 
steadfast Las Vargas, and others who join them when the 
good party are in power. But there sits the hollow-eyed 
Toledan, with brazen front and deep fire-glance, muttering 
between his teeth about womanish softness, ill-timed con- 
cession, and that women can ride trained steeds w^ell enough, 
but are themselves bad horse-breakers, and the like pleasant- 
ries, which, in former times, I have been compelled to hear 
from political gentlemen. 

Mechiavel. You have chosen good colours for your 

Regent. Confess, Mechiavel, among the tints from 
which I might select, there is no hue so livid, so jaundice- 


like, as Alva's complexion, and the colour he is wont to paint 
with. He regards every one as a blasphemer or traitor ; for 
under this head they can be racked, impaled, quartered, and 
burnt at pleasure. The good I have accomplished here, 
appears as nothing seen from a distance, just because it is 
good. Then he dwells on every outbreak that is past, recalls 
every disturbance that is quieted, and brings before the king 
such a picture of mutiny, sedition, and audacity, that we 
appear to him to be actually devouring one another, when 
wuth us the transient explosion of a rude people has long 
been forgotten. Thus he conceives a cordial hatred for the 
poor people ; he views them with horror, as beasts and 
monsters ; looks around for fire and sword, and imagines that 
by such means human beings are subdued. 

Mechiavel. You appear to me too vehement ; you take 
the matter too seriously. Do you not remain rege»nt ? 

Kegent. I am av^ are of that. He will bring his instruc- 
tions. I am old enough in state affairs to understand how 
people can be supplanted, without being actually deprived of 
office. First, he will produce a commission, couched in terms 
Bomewhat obscure and equivocal ; he w411 stretch his autho* 
rity, for the power is in his hands ; if I complain, he will 
hint at secret instructions ; if I desire to see them, he will 
answer evasively ; if I insist, he will produce a paper of 
totally different import ; and if this fail to satisfy me, he will 
go on precisely as if I had never interfered. Meanwhile he 
will have accomplished what I di'ead, and have frustrated my 
most cherished schemes. 

Mechiavel. I wish I could contradict you. 

Kegent. His harshness and cruelty will again arouse the 
tobulent spirit, which, with unspeakable patience, I have 
succeeded in quelling ; I shall see my work destroyed before 
my eyes, and have besides to bear the blame of his wrong- 

Mechiavel. Await it, your highness. 

Regent. I have sufficient self-command to remain quiet. 
Let him come ; I will make way for him with the best grace 
ere he pushes me aside. 

Mechiavel. So important a step thus suddenly? 

Regent. 'Tis harder than you imagine. He who is 
nccustomed to i-ule, to hold daily in his hand the destiny of 

2 A 2 


thousands, descends from the throne as into the gi'ave. 
Better thus, however, than linger a spectre among the Hvinj^, 
and with hollow aspect endeavour to maintain a place which 
another has inherited, and already possesses and enjoys. 

ClarcCs dwelling, 

Claea and her Mothes. 

MoTHEU. Such a love as Brackenburg's I have nevei 
seen ; I thought it was to be found only in romance books. 
Claka. {walking up and dovm the room, humming a song.] 

"With love's thrilling rapture 
What joy can compare ! 

Mother. He suspects your attachment to Egmont; and 
yet , if you would but treat him a little kindly, I do believe 
tie would marry you still, if you would have him. 

Clara, {sings.) 

And tearful. 

With thought-teeming brain ; 


And fearing 

In passionate pain ; 

Now shouting in triumph. 

Now sunk in despair; — 

With love's thrilling rapture 

What joy can compare! 

Mother. Have done with your baby-nonsense. 

Clara. Nay, do not abuse it ; 'tis a song of marvellous 
virtue. Many a time I have lulled a grown child to sleej 
with it. 

Mother. Ay ! You can think of nothing but your love 
If it only did not put everything else out of your head. Yoi 
should have more regard for Brackenburg, I tell you, H( 
may make you happy yet some day. 

Clara. He ? 

Mother. Oh, yes! A time will come! You childrei 
live only in the present, and give no ear to our ex- 
perience. Youth and happy love, all has an end ; and there 



comes a time when one thanks God one has any to 
creep into. 

Clara, {shudders^ and after a pause stands up,) Mother, 
let that time come — like death. To think of it beforehand is 
horrible ' And if it come 1 If we must — then — we will 
bear OuiT^elves as we may. Live without thee, Egmont! 
{weeping.) No ! It is impossible. 

E7iter Eg]M0NT. {Enveloped in a horseman's clodk^ his hat 
drawn over his face.) 

Egmont. Clara ! 

Claka. {litters a cry and starts hack). Egmont! {she 
hastens towards him.) Egmont! {she embraces and leans 
upon him.) O you good, Idnd, sweet Egmont! Are you 
come ? Is it you indeed ? 

Egmont. Good evening, mother! 

Mother. God save you, noble sir! My daughter has 
well nigh pined to death, because you have stayed 
away so long ; she talks and sings about you the live-long 

Egmont. You will give me some supper ? 
Mother. You do us too much honour. If we only had 
anything — 

Clara. Certainly! Be quiet, mother; I have provided 
everything; there is something prepared. Do not betray 
jjae, mother. 

Mother. There's little enough. 

Clara. Never mind ! When he is with me I am never 
hungry ; so he cannot, I should think, have any great appe- 
tite when I am with him. 

Egmont. Do you think so ? 

Clara, {stamps with her foot and turns pettishly away.) 
Egmont. What ails you ? 

Clara. How cold you are to-day! You have not yet 
offered me a kiss. Why do you keep your arms enveloped 
in your mantle, like a new-born babe. It becomes neither a 
soldier nor a lover to keep his arms muffled up. 

Egmont. Sometimes, dearest, sometimes. When the 
soldier stands in ambush and would delude the foe, he 
collects his thoughts, gathers his mantle, around him, and 
matures his plan ; and a lover 

Mother. Will you not take a seat, and make yourself 



comfortable ? I must to the kitchen, Clara thinks of nothing 
when you are here. You must put up with what we have. 
Egmont. Your good-will is the best seasoning. 

\_Exit Mother. 

Claka. And what then is my love ? 

Egmont. Just what you please. 

Clara. Liken it to anything, if you have the heart. 

Egmont. But first. [J^e fi^'^^y^ aside his mantle, and 

appears arrayed in a magnificent dress. 
Clara. Oh heavens ! 

Egmont. Now my arms are free ! [Embraces her. 

Clara. Don't! You will spoil your dress, {she steps 
^ack.) How magnificent! I dare not touch you. 

Egmont. Are you satisfied ? I promised to come once 
arrayed in Spanish fashion. 

Clara. I had ceased to remind you. of it ; I thought you 
did not like it — ah, and the Golden Fleece ! 

Egmont. You see it now. 

Clara. And did the emperor really hang it round your 
neck ? 

Egmont. He did, my child ! And this chain and Order 
invest the wearer with the noblest privileges. On earth I 
acknowledge no judge over my actions, except the grand 
master of the Order, with the assembled chapter of knights. 

Clara. Oh, you might let the whole world sit in judg- 
ment over you. The velvet is too splendid 1 and the braiding ! 
and the embroidery ! One Imows not where to begin. 

Egmont. There, look your fill. 

Clara. And the Golden Fleece ! You told me its history, 
how it is the symbol of everything great and precious, of 
everything that can be merited and won by diligence and 
toil. It is very precious — I may liken it to your love ; — even 
so I wear it next my heart ; — and then 

Egmont. Well — what then ? 

Clara. And then again it is not like. 

Egmont. How so ? 

Clara. I have not won it by diligence and toil, I have 
not deserved it. 

Egmont. It is otherwise in love. You deserve it because 
you have not sought it — and, for the most part, those onl;^ 
obtain love who seek it not. 



Claha. Is it from your own experience that you havo 
learned this ? Did you make that proud remark in reference 
lo yourself? you, whom all the people love ? 

Egmont. Would that I had done something for them ! 
That I could do anything for them ! It is their own good 
pleasiu-e to love me. 

Clara. You have doubtless been with the Regent to- 

Egmont. I have. 

Clara. Are you upon good terms with her ? 
Egmont. So it would appear. We are kind and service- 
able to each other. 

Clara. And in youi- heart ? 

Egmont. I like her. True, we have each our own 
views ; but that is nothing to the pm-pose. She is an excel- 
lent woman, knows with whom she has to deal, and would 
be penetrating enough were she not quite so suspicious. I 
give her plenty of employment, because she is always sus- 
pecting some secret motive in my conduct when, in fact, I 
have none. 

Clara. Eeally none ? 

Egmont. WeU, with one little exception, perhaps. All 
wine deposits lees in the cask in the course of time. Orange 
furnishes her still better entertainment, and is a perpetual 
riddle. He has got the credit of harbouring some secret 
design ; and she studies his brow to discover his thoughts, 
and his steps, to learn in what direction they are bent. 

Clara. Does she dissemble ? 

Egmont. She is regent — and do you ask ? 

Clara. Pardon me ; I meant to say, is she false ? 

Egmont. Neither more nor less than everj-one who has 
his own objects to attain. 

Clara. I should never feel at home in the world. But 
she has a masculine spirit, and is another sort of woman from 
iis housewives and sempstresses. She is great, steadfast, 

Egmont. Yes, when matters are not too much involved. 
For once, however, she is a little disconcerted. 
Clara. How so ? 

Egmont. She has a moustache, too, on her upper lip, 
and occasionally an attack of the gout. A regular Amazon. 



Olaka. a majestic woman! I should dread to appear 
before her. 

Egmont. Yet you are not wont to be timid ! It would 
not be fear, only maidenly basbfulness. 

[Clara casts down her eyes, takes his hand, and leans 
upon him. 

Egmont. I understand you, dearest ! You may raiso 
your eyes. [He hisses her eyes. 

Clara. Let me be silent ! Let me embrace thee !. Let 
me look into thine eyes, and find there everything— hope 
und comfort, joy and sorrow ! {she embraces and gazes on 
him.) Tell me ! Oh, tell me ! It seems so strange — art 
thou indeed Egmont ! Count Egmont ! The great Egmont, 
who makes so much noise in the world, who figures in the 
newspapers, who is the support and stay of the provinces ? 

Egmont. No, Clara, I am not he. 

Clara. How ? 

Egmont. Seest thou, Clara? Let me sit down ! {He seats 
himself, she kneels on a footstool before him, rests her arms on 
his knees, and looks up in his face.) That Egmont is a morose, 
cold, imbending Egmont, obliged to be upon his guard, to 
assume now this appearance and now that ; harassed, mis- 
apprehended and perplexed, when the crowd esteem him 
light-hearted and gay ; beloved by a people who do not know 
their own minds ; honoured and extolled by the intractable 
multitude ; surrounded by friends in whom he dares not 
confide ; observed by men who are on the watch to supplant 
him ; toiling and striving, often without an object, generally 
without a reward. O let me conceal how it fares with him, 
let me not speak of his feelings ! But this Egmont, Clara, is 
calm, unreserved, happy, beloved and known by the best of 
hearts, which is also thoroughly known to him, and which he 
.presses to his own with unbounded confidence and \o\(%. 
(He embraces her.) This is thy Egmont. 

Clara. So let me die ! The world has no joy after this^ 



A Street, 

Jetter. Cakpentek. 

Jetteb. Hist ! neighboui*, — a word ! 
Cakpenter. Go your way and be quiet. 
Jetter. Only one word. Is there nothing new? 
Carpenter. Nothing, except that we are anew forbidden 
to speak. 

Jetter. How ? 

Carpenter. Step here, close to this house. Take heed ! 
Immediately on his arrival, the Duke of Alva published a 
decree, by which two or tlu-ee, found conversing together 
in the streets, are, without trial, declared guilty of high 

Jetter. Alas ! 

Carpenter. To speak of state affairs is prohibited on 
pain of perpetual imprisonment. 
Jetter. Alas for our liberty ! 

Carpenter. And no one, on pain of death, shall censure 
the measures of government. 
Jetter. Alas, for our heads ! 

Carpenter. And fathers, mothers, children, kindred, 
friends, and servants, are invited, by the promise of large 
rewards, to disclose what passes in the privacy of our homes, 
before an expressly appointed tribunal. 

Jetter. Let us go home. 

Carpenter. And the obedient are promised that they 
shall suffer no injury, either in person or estate. 

Jetter. How gracious ! — I felt ill at ease the moment the 
duke entered the town. Since then, it has seemed to me, as 
though the heavens were covered with black crape, which 
hangs so low, that one must stoop down to avoid knocking 
one's head against it. 

Carpenter. And how do you like his soldiers ? They are 
a different sort of crabs from those we have been used to. 

Jetteb, Faugh! It gives one the cramp at one's heart 
to see such a troop march down the street, as straight as 



tapers, with fixed looli, only one step, Iiowever many there 
may be ; and when they stand sentinel, and you pass one of 
them, it seems as though he would look you through and 
through ; and he looks so stiff and morose, that you fancy you 
see a task-master at every corner. They offend my sight. 
Our militia were merry fellows ; they took liberties, stood 
their legs astride, their hats over their ears, they lived and 
let live ; these fellows are like machines with a devil inside 

Carpenter. "Were such an one to cry, " Halt ! " and to 
level his musket, think you, one would stand? 

Jetter. I should fall dead upon the spot. 

Carpenter. Let us go home ! 

Jetter. No good can come of it. Farewell. 

Enter Soest. 

SoEST. Friends ! Neighbours ! 

Carpenter. Hush ! Let us go. 

SoEST. Have you heard ? 

Jetter. Only too much ! 

SoEST. The Regent is gone. 

Jetter. Then heaven help us. 

Carpenter. She was some stay to us. 

So EST. Her departure was sudden and secret. She could 
not agree with the duke ; she has sent word to the nobles that 
she intends to return. No one believes it, however. 

Carpenter. God pardon the nobles for letting this new 
yoke be laid upon our necks. They might have prevented it. 
Our privileges are gone. 

Jetter. For heaven's sake not a word about privileges. 
I already scent an execution ; the sun will not come forth ; 
the fogs are rank. 

Soest. Orange, too, is gone. 

Carpenter. Then are we quite deserted ! 

SoEST. Count Egmont is still here. 

J ETTER. God be thanked ! Strengthen him all ye saints 
to do his utmost ; he is the only one who can help us. 

Enter Vansen. 

Van SEN. Have I at length found a few brave citizens 
who have not crept out of sight ? 

J ETTER. Do uS the favour to pass on. 

Yansen. You are not civil. 


Jetter. This is no time for compliment?. Does your 
back itch again ? are your wounds ah-eady healed ? 

Van SEN. Ask a soldier about his wounds ! Had I cared 
for blows, nothing good would have come of me. 

Jetter. Matters may grow^more serious. 

Vansen. You feel from the gathering storm, a pitiful 
weakness in your limbs, it seems. 

Carpenter. Your limbs will soon be in motion elsewhere, 
if you do not keep quiet. 

Vansen. Poor mice I The master of the house procures a 
new cat, and ye are straight in despan- ! The difference is very 
trifling ; we shall get on as we did before, only be quiet. 

Carpenter. You are an insolent knave. 

Vansen. Gossip! Let the duke alone. The old cat looks 
as though he had swallowed devils, instead of mice, and could 
not now digest them. Let him alone I say ; he must eat, 
drink, and sleep, like other men. I am not afraid if we only 
watch our opportunity. At first he makes quick work of it ; 
by and by, however, he too will find that it is pleasanter to 
live in the larder, among flitches of bacon, and to rest by 
night, than to entrap a few solitary mice in the granary. Go 
to ! I know the stadtholdcrs. 

Carpenter. What such a fellow can say with impunity ! 
Had I said such a thing, I should not hold myself sale a 

Vansen. Do not make yourselves uneasy ! God in heaven 
does not trouble himself about you, poor worms, much less 
the Regent. 

Jetter. Slanderer ! 

Vansek. I know some for whom it would be better, if 
instead of their own high spirits, they had a little tailor's blood 
in their veins. 

Carpenter. What mean you by that? 

Vansen. Hum ! I mean the count. 

Jetter. Egmont ! What has he to fear ? 

Vansen. I'm a poor devil, and could live a whole year 
round on what he loses in a single night ; yet he would do 
well to give me his revenue for a twelvemonth, to have my 
head upon his shoulders for one quarter of an hour, 

Jetter. You think yourself very clever ; yet there is more 
sense in the hairs of Egmont's head, than in your brains, 



Vansen. Perhaps so ! Not more shrewdness, however 
These gentry are the most apt to deceive themselves. He 
should be more chary of his confidence. 

Jetter. How his tongue wags ! Such a gentleman ' 

Vansen. Just because he is not a tailor. 

Jetter. You audacious scoundrel ! 

Vansen. I only wish he had your courage in his limbs 
for an hour to make him uneasy, and plague and torment him, 
till he were compelled to leave the town. 

Jetter. What nonsense you talk ; why he's as safe as ?< 
star in heaven. 

Vansen. Have you ever seen one snuff itself out ? Off 
it went ! 

Carpenter. Who w^ould dare to meddle with him, I 
should like to know ? 

Vansen. Will you interfere to prevent it ? Will you stir 
up an insurrection if he is arrested ? 

Jetter. Ah ! 

Vansen. Will you risk your ribs for his sake ? 
SoEST. Eh ! 

Vansen. {Mi7niclcing them,) Eh ! Oh ! Ah ! Run through 
the alphabet in your wonderment. So it is, and so it will 
remain. Heaven help him ! 

Jetter. Confound your impudence. Can such a noble, 
upright man, have anything to fear ? 

Vansen. In this world the rogue has everywhere the 
advantage. At the bar, he makes a fool of the judge ; on 
the bench, he takes pleasure in convicting the accused. I 
have had to copy out a protocol, where the commissary was 
handsomely rewarded by the court, both with praise and 
money, because through his cross-examination, an honest 
devil, against whom they had a grudge, was made out to be 
a rogue. 

Carpenter. Why that again is a downright lie. What 
can they want to get out of a man if he is innocent ? 

Vansen. Oh you blockhead! When nothing can bo 
worked out of a man by crocs-examination, they work it into 
him. Honesty is rash and withal somewhat presumptuous ; at 
first they question quietly enough, and the prisoner, proud of 
his innocence, as they call it, comes out with much that a 
sensible man would keep back ; then, from these answers thd 



inquisitor proceeds to put new questions, and is on the watch 
for the slightest contradiction ; there he fastens his Hne ; and 
let the poor devil lose his self-possession, say too much here, 
or too little there, or, heaven knows from what whim or other, 
let him withhold some trifling circumstance, or at any moment 
give way to fear,— then we're on the right track, and, I assure 
you, no beggar-woman seeks for rags among the rubbish with 
moro care, than such a fabricator of rogues, from trifling, 
crooked, disjointed, misplaced, misprinted, and concealed facts 
and information, acknowledged or denied, endeavours at 
length to patch up a scarecrow, by means of which he 
may at least hang his victim in effigy; and the poor devil 
may thank heaven, if he is in a condition to see himself 

Jetter. He has a ready tongue of iiis own. 

Carpenter. This may serve well enough with flies. 
Wasps laugh at your cunning well. 

Vansen. According to the kind of spider. The tall duke 
now, has just the look of your garden spider ; not the large- 
bellied kind, they are less dangerous ; but your long-footed, 
meagre-bodied gentleman, that does not fatten on his diet, 
and whose threcds are slender indeed, but not the less 

Jetter. Egmont is knight of the Golden Fleece, who 
dare lay hands on him ? He can be tried only by his peers, 
by the assembled knights of his order. Your own foul tongue 
and evil conscience betray you into this nonsense. 

Van SEN. Think you that I wish him ill $ I would you 
were in the right. He is an excellent gentleman. He once 
let ofi*, with a sound drubbing, some good friends of mine, 
who would else have been hanged. Now take yourselves off! 
be gone, I advise you ! yonder I see the patrol again com- 
mencing their round. They do not look as if they 
would be willing to fraternize with us over a glass. We must, 
wait, and bide our time. I have a couple of nieces and a 
gossip of a tapster ; if after enjoying themselves in their 
eomnanv, they are not tamed, they are regular wolves. 



The Palace of Eulenher^ . 
Ilesidence of the Duhe of Alva 
SiLYA and Gomez {rneeting), 

SiLVA. Have you executed the duke's commauds ? 

Gomez. Punctually. All the day patrols have received 
orders to assemble at the appointed time, at the various points 
that I have indicated. Meanwhile, they march as usual 
through the town to maintain order. Each is ignorant re- 
specting the movements of the rest, and imagines the command 
to have reference to himself alone ; thus in a moment the 
cordon can be formed, and all the avenues to the palace occu- 
pied. Know you the reason of this command ? 

SiLVA. I am accustomed blindly to obey ; and to whom 
can one more easily render obedience than to the duke, since 
the event always proves the wisdom of his commands. 

Gomez. Well! Well! I am not surprised that you are 
become as reserved and monosyllabic as the duke, since you 
are obliged to be always about his person ; to me, however, 
who am accustomed to the lighter service of Italy, it seems 
strange enough. In loyalty and obedience I am the same old 
soldier as ever ; but I am wont to indulge in gossip and dis- 
cussion; here, you are all silent, and seem as though you knew 
not how to enjoy yom'selves. The duke, methinks, is like a 
brazen tower without gates, the gaiTison of which must be fur- 
nished with wings. Not long ago I heard him say at the table 
of a gay, jovial fellow, that he was like a bad spirit-shop, with 
a brandy sign displayed to allure idlers, vagabonds, and thieves 

SiLVA. And has he not brought us hither in silence? 

Gomez. Nothing can be said against that. Of a truth, 
we, who witnessed the address with which he led the troops 
hither out of Italy, have seen something. How he advanced 
warily through friends and foes; through the French, both 
loyalists and heretics; through the Swiss and their confe- 
derates ; maintained the strictest discipline, and accomplished 
with ease, and without the slightest hindrance, a march that was 
esteemed so perilous ! — We have seen and learned something. 

SiLVA. Here too! Is not everything as still and quiet as 
though there had been no disturbance } 

Gomez. Wliy, as for that, it was tolerably quiet when WG 


SiLTA. The provinces Lave become much more tranquil ; 
if there is any movement now, it is only among tho^e who 
wish to escape ; and to them, methinks, the duke will speedily 
close eyery outlet. 

Gomez. This service cannot fail to win for him the favour 
of the king. 

SiLTA. And nothing is more expedient for us than to 
retain his. Should the king come hither, the duke doubtless 
and all whom he recommends will not go without their reward. 

Gomez. Do you really beHeve then that the king will 
come r 

SiLTA. So many preparations are being made, that the 
report appears highly probable. 

Gomez. I am not convinced, however. 

SiLTA. Keep your thoughts to yourself, then. For if it 
should not be the king's intention to come, it is at least certain 
that he wishes the rumour to be believed. 

£nte}' Ferdinand. 

Feedinand. Is my father not yet abroad? 

SiiiYA. We are waiting to receive his commands. 

Ferdinand. The princes will soon be here. 

Gomez. Are they expected to-day? 

Ferdinand. Orange and Egmont. 

Gomez, {aside to Silva.) A light breaks in upon me, 

SiLYA. Well, then, say nothing about it. 
Filter the Duke of Alva {as he advances the rest draw hack), 

Alta. Gomez. 

Gomez {steps forward). My lord. 

Alva. You have distributed the guards and given them 
their instructions? 

Gomez. Most accurately. The day patrols 

Alva. Enough. Attend in the gallery. Silva will an- 
noimce to you the moment when you are to draw tliem toge- 
ther, and to occupy the avenues leading to the palace. The 
rest you know. 

Gomez. I do, my lord. [^Exit, 

Alta. Silva. 

SiLYA. Here, my lord. 

Alya. I shall require you to manifest to-day all the 
qualities which I have hitherto prized m you : courage, re- 
Golve, unswerving execution. 



SiLVA. T tTiank you for affording me an opportunity of 
showing that your old servant is unchanged. 

Alva. The moment the pinces enter my cabinet, hasten 
to arrest Egmont's private secretary. You have made all 
needful preparations lor securing the others who are specified? 

SiLVA. Hely upon us. Their doom, like a well- calculated 
eclipse, will overtake them with terrible certainty. 

Alva. Have you had them all narrowly watched? 

SiLVA All. Egmont especially. He is the only one 
whose demeanour, since your arrival, remains unchanged. 
The live-long day he is now on one horse and now on another ; 
he invites guests as usual, is merry and entertaining at table, 
plays at dice, shoots, and at night steals to his mistress. The 
others, on the contrary, have made a manifest pause in their 
mode of life ; they remain at home, and, from the outward 
aspect of their houses, you would imagine that there v»^as 
a sick man within. 

Alva. To work then, ere they recover in spite of us. 

SiLVA. I shall bring them without fail. In obedience to 
your commands we load them with officious honours; they are 
alarmed ; cautiously, yet anxiously, they tender us their thanks, 
feel that flight would be the most prudent course, yet none 
venture to adopt it; they hesitate, are unable to work together, 
while the bond which unites them prevents their acting boldly 
as individuals. They are anxious to withdraw themselves from 
suspicion, and thus only render themselves more obnoxious to 
it. I already contemplate with joy the successful realization 
of your scheme. 

Alva. I rejoice only over what is accomplished, and not 
lightly over that; for there ever remains ground for serious 
and anxious thought. Fortune is capricious; the common, 
the worthless, she oft-times ennobles, while she dishonours 
with a contemptible issue the most maturely-considered 
schemes. Await the arrival of the princes, then order Gomez 
to occupy the streets, and hasten yourself to arrest Egmont's 
secretary, and the others who are specified. This done, re- 
turn, and announce to my son that he may bring me the 
tidings m the council. 

SiLVA. I trust this evening I shall dare to appear in your 
presence. (Alva approaches his son, who has hitherto been 
standing in the yallery,) I dare not whisper it even to myself; 


but my mind misgives me. The event will, I feai% be differ- 
ent from what he anticipates. I see before me spirits, who, 
still and thoughtful, weigh in ebon scales the doom of princes 
and of many thousands. Slowly the beam moves up and 
down; deeply the judges appear to ponder; at length one 
scale sinks, the other rises, breathed on by the caprice of des- 
tiny, and all is decided. [Exit. 

Alva {advancing ivith his son), Hj"''W did you fmd the 

Ferdinand. All is again quiet. I rode as for pastime, 
from street to street. Your well- distributed patrols hold fear 
so tightly yoked, that she does not venture even to whisper. 
The town resembles a plain when the lightning's glare 
announces the impending storm : no bird, no beast is to be 
seen, that is not stealing to a. place of shelter. 

Alva. Has nothiug further occurred? 

Ferdinand. Egmont, wdth a few companions, rode into 
the market-place ; vie exchanged greetings ; he was moimted 
on an unbroken charger, w^hich excited my admiration. "Let 
us hasten to break in our steeds," he exclaimed; "we shall 
need them ere long!" He said that he should see me again 
to-day ; he is coming here, at yom- desire, to deliberate with 

Alva. He will see you again. 

Ferdinand. Among all the knights w4iom I know here, 
he pleases me the best. I think w^e shall be friends. 

Alva. You are always rash and inconsiderate. I recog- 
nize in you the levity of youi' mother, w^hich threw her 
unconditionally into my arms. Appearances have already 
allured you precipitately into many dangerous connexions. 

Ferdinand. You will find me ever submissive. 

Alva. I pardon this inconsiderate kindness, this heedless 
gaiety, in consideration of your youthful blood. Only forget 
not on what mission I am sent, and what part in it I would 
assign to you. 

Ferdinand. Admonish me, and spare me not, w^hen you 
deem it needful. 

Alva, {after a pause.) My son! 
Ferdinand. My father! 

Alva. The princes will bo here anon; Orange and 
femont. It is not mistrust that has withheld me till new, 

2 B 



from disclosing to you what is about to take place. Jliey 
will not depart hence. 

Ferdinand. What do you purpose r 

Alva. It has been resolved to arrest them. — ^You are 
astonished ! Learn what you have to do ; the reasons you shall 
know when all is accomplished. Time fails now to unfold 
them. With you alone I wish to deliberate on the weightiest, 
the most secret matters; a powerful bond holds us linked 
together ; you are dear and precious to me ; on you I would 
bestow everything. Not the habit of obedience alone would 
I impress upon you; I desire also to implant within your mind 
the power to realize, to execute, to command ; to you I would 
bequeath a vast inheritance, to the king a most useful servant ; 
I would endow you with the noblest of my possessions, that 
you may not be ashamed to appear among your brethren. 

Ferdinand. How deeply am I indebted to you for this 
love, which you manifest for me alone, while a whole kingdom 
trembles before you. 

Alva. Now hear what is to be done. As soon as the 
princes have entered, every avenue to the palace will be 
guarded. This duty is confided to Gomez. Silva will hasten 
to arrest Egmont's secretary, together with those whom we 
hold most in suspicion. You, meanwhile, Avill take the com- 
mand of the guards stationed at the gates and in the courts. 
Before all, take care to occupy the adjoining apartment with 
the trustiest soldiers. Wait in the gallery till Silva returns, 
then bring me any unimportant paper, as a signal that his 
commission is executed. Remain in the ante -chamber till 
Orange retires, follow him; I will detain Egmont here as 
though I had some further communication to make to him. 
At the end of the gallery demand Orange's sword, summon 
the guards, secure promptly the most dangerous man; I 
meanwhile will seize Egmont here. 

Ferdinand. I obey, my father — for the first time with a 
heavy and an anxious heart. 

Alva. I pardon you ; this is the first great day of your 

Ejite}' Silva. 

Silva. A courier from Antwerp. Here is Orange's 
letioT. He does not come. 



Alva. Says the messenger so ? 
SiLVA. No, my own heart tells me. 

Alya. In thee speaks my evil genius, ^.after reading the 
letter^ he makes a sign to the two^ and they retire to the gallery. 
A.LVA remains alone in front of the stage.) He comes not! 
fill the la-st moment he delays declaring himself. He 
ventures not to come ! So then, the cautious man, contrary 
to all expectation, is for once sagacious enough to lay aside 
his wonted caution. The hour moves on ! Let the finger 
travel but a short space over the dial, and a great work is 
done or lost — irrevocably lost ; for the opportunity can never 
be retrieved, nor can our intention remain concealed. Long 
had I maturely weighed everything, foreseen even this con- 
tingency, and firmly resolved in my own mind what, in that 
case, was to be done ; and now, when I am called upon to 
act, I can with difficulty guard my mind from being again 
distracted by conflicting doubts. Is it expedient to seize the 
others if he escape me ? Shall I delay, and suffer Egmont to 
elude my grasp, together with his friends, and so many 
others w^ho now, and perhaps for to-day only, are in my 
hands ? How ! Does destiny control even thee — the un- 
controlable ? How long matured I How well prepared ! 
How great, how admirable the plan ! How nearly had hope 
attained the goal ! And now, at tlie decisive moment, thou 
art placed between two evils ; as in a lottery, thou dost grasp 
in the dark future ; what thou hast drawn remains still un- 
rolled, to thee unknown whether it is a prize or a blank ! [He 
becomes attentive^ like one ivho hears a noise, and steps to the 
ivindoiv.) 'Tis he ! Egmont ! Did thy steed bear thee 
hither so lightly, and started not at the scent of blood, at the 
spirit with the naked sword who received thee at the gate r 
Dismount ! Lo, now thou hast one foot in the grave ! And 
now both ! Ay, caress him, and for the last time stroke his 
neck for the gallant service he has rendered thee. And 
for me no choice is left. The delusion, in which Egmont 
ventm'es here to-day, cannot a second time deliver him into 
my hands ! Hark ! (Ferdinand and Silva enter hastily,) 
Obey my orders ! I sweive not from my purpose. I shall 
detain Egmont here as best I may, till you bring me tidings 
from Silva. Then remain at hand. Thee, too, fate has 
robbed of the proud honour of arresting with thine own hand 



the king's greatest enemy, (to Silva.) Be prompt I (to 
Fekdinand.) Advance to meet him. 

[Alta remains some moments alone^ pacing the chamber 
in silence. 

Enter Egmont. 

Egmont. 1 come to learn the king's commands ; to hear 
what service he demands from our loyalty, which remains 
eternally devoted to him. 

Alta. He desires, before all, to hear your counsel. 

Egmont. Upon what subject } Does Orange come also ? 
I thought to find him here. 

Alta. I regret that he fails us at this important crisis. 
The king desires your counsel, your opinion as to the best 
means of tranquillizing these states. He trusts indeed that 
you will zealously co-operate with him in quelling these dis- 
turbances, and in securing to these proTinces the benefit of 
complete and permanent order. 

Egmont. You, my lord, should know better than I, that 
tranquillity is already sufficiently restored, and was still 
more so, till the appearance of fresh troops again agitated the 
public mind, and filled it anew with anxiety and alarm. 

Alta. You seem to intimate that it would haTe been 
more advisable if the king had not placed me in a position to 
interrogate you. 

Egmont. Pardon me! It is not for me to determine 
whether the king acted advisedly in sending the army hither, 
whether the might of his royal presence alone would not 
haTe operated more powerfully. The army is here, the king 
is not. But we should be most ungrateful were we to forget 
what we owe to the Regent. Let it be acknowledged ! By 
her prudence and valour, by her judicious use of authority 
and force, of persuasion and finesse, she pacified the insur- 
gents, and, to the astonishment of the world, succeeded, in the 
course of a few months, in bringing a rebellious people back 
to their duty. 

Alta. I deny it not. The insurrection is quelled ; and 
the people appear to be already forced back within the 
bounds of obedience. But does it not depend upon their 
caprice alone to OTcrstep these bounds ? Who shall prevent 
them from again breaking loose ? Where is the power ca- 
pable of restraining them ? Who will be answerable to us 



for their future loyalty and submission? Their own good 
^ill is the sole pledge we have. 

Egmont. And is not the good- will of a people the sui'est, 
the noblest pledge ? By heaven ! when can a monarch hold 
himself more secure, ay, both against foreign and domestic 
foes, than when all can stand for one, and one for all ? 

Alva. You would not have us believe, however, that 
such is the case here at present } 

Egmont. Let the king proclaim a general pardon; lie 
will thus tranquillize the public mind ; and it will be seen 
how speedily loyalty and affection will return, when confi- 
dence is restored. 

Alva. How! And suffer those who have insulted the 
majesty of the king, who have violated the sanctuaries of our 
religion, to go abroad unchallenged! living witnesses that 
enormous crimes may be perpetrated with impunity ! 

Egmont. .And ought not a crime of frenzy, of intoxica- 
tion, to be excused, rather than horribly chastised ? Especially 
when there is the sure hope, nay, more, w^here there is 
positive certainty, that the evil will never again recm*? 
Would not sovereigns thus be more secure ? Are not those 
monarchs most extolled by the world and by posterity, who 
can pardon, pity, despise an offence against their dignity ? 
Are they not on that account likened to God himself, who is 
far too exalted to be assailed by every idle blasphemy ? 

Alva. And therefore, should the king maintain the 
honour of God and of religion, w^e the authority of the king. 
What the supreme power disdains to avert, it is our duty to 
avenge. Were I to counsel, no guilty person should live to 
rejoice in his impunity. 

Egmont. Think you that you will be able to reach them 
all ? Do we not daily hear that fear is driving them to and 
fro, and forcing them out of the land. The more wealthy 
will escape to other countries, with their property, their 
children, and their friends ; while the poor will carry their 
industrious hands to our neighbours. 

Alva. They will, if they cannot be prevented. It is on 
this account that the king desires counsel and aid from e very- 
prince, zealous co-operation from every stadtholder; not 
merely a description of the present posture of affairs, or con- 
jectures as to what might take place were events suffered to 



hold on their course without interruption. To contemplate 
a mighty evil, to flatter oneself with hope, to trust to time, to 
Strike a blow, like the clown in a play, so as to make a noise, 
and appear to do something, when in fact one would fain do 
nothing ; is not such conduct calculated to awaken a suspi- 
cion that those who act thus contemplate with satisfaction a 
rebellion, which they would not indeed excite, but which 
they are by no means unwilling to encourage ? 

Egmont. (about to break forth, restrains himself, aiid after 
a brief pause, speaks with composure.) Every design is not 
immediately obvious, and a man's intentions are often mis- 
construed. It is widely rumoured, however, that the object 
which the king has in view is not so much to govern the 
provinces according to uniform and clearly defined laws, to 
maintain the majesty of religion, and to give his people 
universal peace, as unconditionally to subjugate them, to 
rob them of their ancient rights, to appropriate their posses- 
sions, to curtail the fair privileges of the nobles, for whose 
sake alone they are ready to serve him w^ith life and limb. 
Religion, it is said, is merely a splendid device, behind which 
every dangerous design may be contrived with the gi^eater 
ease ; the prostrate crowds adore the sacred symbols pictured 
there, while behind lurks the fowler ready to ensnare them. 

Alva. Must I hear this from you r 

Egmont. I speak not my own sentiments ! I but repeat 
what is loudly rumom^ed, and uttered here and there by rich 
and poor, by wise men and fools. The Netherlanders fear a 
double yoke, and who will be sm-ety to them for their 
liberty ? 

Alva. Liberty ! A fair word when rightly understood. 
What liberty w^ould they have r What is the freedom of the 
most free r To do right ! And in that the monarch will not 
hinder them. No ! No ! They imagine themselves enslaved, 
when they have not the power to injure themselves and 
others. Would it not be better to abdicate at once, rather 
than rule such a people ? When the country is threatened 
by foreign invaders, the citizens, occupied only with their 
immediate interests, bestow no thought upon the advancing 
foe, and when the king requires their aid, they quarrel among 
themselves, and thus, as it were, conspire with the enemy. 
Far better is it to circumscribe their power, to contiol aiK? 



giiide them for their good, as children are controlled and 
guided. Trust me, a people grows neither old nor wise, a 
people remains always in its infancy. 

Egmont. How rarely does a king attain wisdom ! And . 
is it not fit that the many should confide their interests to 
the many rather than to the one ? And not even to the cme, 
but to the few servants of the one, men who have grown old 
under the eyes of their master. To grow wise, it seems, is 
the exclusive privilege of these favoured individuals. 

Alya. Perhaps for the very reason that they are not left 
to themselves. 

Egmont. And therefore they vfould fain leave no one 
else to his ovm. guidance. Let them do what they like, how- 
ever; I have replied to your questions, and I repeat, the 
measures you propose will never do ! They cannot succeed ! 
I know my countrymen. They are men worthy to tread 
God's earth ; each complete in himself, a little king, stead- 
fast, active, capable, loyal, attached to ancient customs. It 
may be difficult to win their confidence, but it is easy to 
retain it. Firm and unbending ! They may be crushed, but 
not subdued. 

Alva, {who during this speech has looked round several 
times,) Would you venture to repeat what you have uttered, 
m the king's presence ? 

Egmont. It were the worse, if in his presence I were 
restrained by fear ! The better for him, and for his people, 
if he inspired me with confidence, if he encouraged me to 
give yet freer utterance to my thoughts. 

Alya. What is profitable, I can listen to as well as he. 

Egmont. I would say to him — 'Tis easy for the shepherd 
to drive before him a £ock of sheep ; the ox draws the 
plough without opposition ; but if you would ride the noble 
steed, you must study his thoughts, you must require nothing 
unreasonable, nor unreasonably, from him. The citizen 
desires to retain his ancient constitution ; to be governed by 
his own countrymen ; and why ? Because he knows in that 
case how he shall be ruled, because he can rely upon their 
disinterestedness, upon their sympathy with his fate. 

Alva. And ought not the Regent to be empowered to 
alter these ancient usages ? Should not this Gonstitute his 
fairest privilege ? What is permanent in this world? And 


shall the constitution of a state alone remain unchanged: 
yiust not every relation alter in the course of time ? And an 
ancient constitution become the source of a thousand evils, 
because not adapted to the present condition of the people r 
These ancient rights afford, doubtless, convenient loopholes, 
through which the crafty and the powerful may creep, and 
wherein they may lie concealed, to the injury of the people 
and of the entire community; audit is on this account, I fear, 
that they are held in such high esteem. 

Egmont. And these arbitrary changes, these unlimited 
encroachments of the supreme power, are they not indications 
that one wdll permit himself to do what is forbidden to 
thousands ? The monarch would alone be free, that he may 
have it in his power to gratify his every wish, to realize his 
every thought. And though we should confide in him as a 
good and virtuous sovereign, will he be answerable to us for 
his successors r That none who come after him shall rule 
without consideration, without forbearance ! And who would 
deliver us from absolute caprice, should he send hither his 
servants, his minions, who, v/ithout knowledge of the country 
and its requirements, should govern according to their own 
good pleasure, meet with no opposition, and know themselves 
exempt from all responsibility ? 

Alya {ivho has mea^iwhile again looked round). There 
is nothing more natural than that a king should choose to 
retain the power in his own hands, and that he should select 
as the instruments of his authority, those who best under- 
stand him, who desire to understand him, and who will 
unconditionally execute his will. 

Egmont. And just as natural is it, that the citizen should 
prefer being governed by one born and reared in the same 
land, whose notions of right and wrong are in harmony with 
bis own, and whom he can regard as his brother. 

Alva. And yet the noble, methinks, has shared rather 
unequally with these brethren of his. 

Egmont. Tha^; took place centuries ago, and is now sub- 
mitted to without envy. But should new men, whose pre- 
sence is not needed in the country, be sent, to enrich them- 
selves a second time, at the cost of the nation; should the 
people see themselves exposed to their bold unscrupulous rapa- 
city, it would excite a ferment that would not soon be quelled ? 



Alt A. You utter words to which I ou^'ht not to listen ; — I 
too am a foreigner. 

Egmont. That they are spoken in your presence is a 
sufficient proof that they have no reference to you. 

Alva. Be that as it may, I would rather not hear them 
from you. The king sent me here in the hope that I should 
obtain the support of the nobles. The king wiUs, and will 
have his will obeyed. After profound deliberation, he at 
length discerns what course will best promote the welfare of 
the people ; matters cannot be permitted to go on as hereto- 
fore ; it is his intention to limit their power for their own 
good ; if necessary, to force upon them their salvation ; to 
sacrifice the more dangerous citizens, that the rest may find 
repose, and enjoy in peace the blessing of a wise government. 
This is his resolve ; this I am commissioned to announce to the 
nobles ; and in his name I require from them advice, not as to 
the course to be pursued, — on that he is resolved, — ^but as to 
the best means of carrying his purpose into efiect. 

Egmont. Your words, alas, justify the fears of the people, 
the fears of all ! The king has then resolved as no sovereign 
ought to resolve. In order to govern his subjects more 
easily, he would crush, subvert, nay, ruthlessly destroy, their 
strength, their spirit, and their self-respect ! He would 
violate the core of their individuality, doubtless with the 
view of promoting their happiness. He would annihilate 
them, that they may assume a new, a different shape. Oh ! if 
his purpose be good, he is fatally misguided ! It is not the king 
whom we resist — we but place ourselves in the way of the 
monarch, who, unhappily, is about to take the first rash step 
in a WTong direction. 

Alva. Such being your sentiments, it were a vain attempt 
for us to endeavour to agree. You must indeed think poorly 
of the king, and contemptibly of his counsellors, if you 
imagine that everything has not already been thought of and 
maturely weighed. I have no commission a second time to 
balance conflicting arguments. From the people I demand 
submission; — and from you, their leaders and princes, I 
demand counsel and support, as pledges of this unconditional 

Egmont. Demand our heads and your object is attained; 
to a noble soul it must be indifferent whether he stoop liig 



neck to such a yoke, or lay it upon the block. I have spokeu 
much to little purpose. I have agitated the air, but accom- 
plished nothing. 

Enter Ferdinand. 

Ferdinand. Pardon my intrusion. Here is a letter, the 
bearer of which urgently demands an answer. 

Alta. Allow me to peruse its contents. {Steps aside.) 

Ferdinand {to Egmont). 'Tis a noble steed that your 
people have brought for you. 

Egmont. I have seen worse. I have had him some 
time : I think of parting with him. If he pleases you w^e 
shall probably soon agree as to the price. 

Ferdinand. We will think about it. 

Alva {motions to his son, ivho retires to the hack-ground). 

Egmont. Farewell ! Allow me to retire ; for by heaven 
I know not what more I can say. 

Alya. Fortunately for you, chance prevents you from 
making a fuller disclosure of your sentiments. You incau- 
tiously lay bare the recesses of your heart, and your own lips 
furnish evidence against you, more fatal than could be pro- 
duced by your bitterest adversary. 

Egmont. This reproach disturbs me not. I know my 
own heart ; I know with what honest zeal I am devoted to 
the king ; I know that my allegiance is more true than that of 
many who, in his service, seek only to serve themselves. 
I regret tha'i our discussion should terminate so unsatisfac- 
torily, and trust that in spite of our opposing views, the 
service of the king, our master, and the welfare of our coun- 
try, may speedily unite us ; another conference, the presence 
of the princes who to-day are absent, may, perchance, in a 
more propitious moment, accomplish what at present appears 
impossible. In this hope I take my leave. 

Alya {who at the same time makes a sign to Ferdinand). 
Hold, Egmont ! — ^Your sword ! — ( The centre door opens and 
discloses the gallery, which is occupied with guards., who remain 

Egmont {after a pause of astonishment). Was this then 
your intention? Was it for this purpose that I was sum- 
moned here ? {Grasping his sword as if to defend himself) 
Am I then Aveaponless ? 

Alva. The king commands. You are my prisoner. {Ai 
the same time g^iards enter from hoih sides.) 



Egmont {after a pause). The king? — Orange! Orange! 
{after a pause, resigning his sword.) Take it I It has been 
employed far oftener in defending the cause of my king, than 
in protecting this breast. 

{He retires hy the centre door, followed hy the guard and 
Alta's son, Alya remains standing ivhile the curtain falls.) 


A street. Twilight. 

Clara. Brackenburg. Citizens. 

Bracxenburg. Dearest, for heaven's sake, what wonld'st 
thou do ! 

Clara. Come with me, Brackenburg ! You cannot know 
the people, we are certain to rescue him ; for what can equal 
their love for him ? I could swear it, the breast of every 
citizen burns with the desire to deliver him, to avert danger 
from a life so precious, and to restore freedom to the most 
free. Come, a voice only is wanting to call them together. 
In their souls the memory is still fresh of all they owe him, 
and well they know that his mighty arm alone shields them 
from destruction. For his sake, for their own sake, they 
must peril everything. And what do we peril ? At most, 
our lives, which, if he perish, are not worth preserving. 

Brackenburg. Unhappy girl! Thou seest not the power 
that holds us fettered as with bands of iron. 

Clara. To me it does not appear invincible. Let us 
not lose time in idle words. Here come some of our old, 
honest, valiant citizens ! Hark ye, friends ! Neighbours ! 
Hark ! — Say, how fares it with Egmont? 

Carpenter. What does the girl want? Tell her to 
hold her peace. 

Clara. Step nearer, that we may speak low, till we 
are united and more strong. Not a moment is to be lost ! 
Audacious tyranny, that dared to fetter him, already lifts the 
dagger against his life. Oh, my friends ! With the advanc- 
ing twilight my anxiety grows more intense. I dread this 
night. Come ! Let us disperse ; let us hasten from quarter 
to quarter, and call out the citizens. Let every one grasp his 



ancient weapons. In the market-place we meet again, anj 
every one will be carried onward by our gathering stream. 
The enemy will see themselves surrounded, overwhelmed, ani 
be compelled to yield. How can a handful of slaves resist 
us ? And he will return among us, he will see himself 
rescued, and can for once thank us, us, who are already so 
deeply in his debt. He will behold, perchance, ay doubtless, 
lie will again behold the morn's red dawn in the free 

Cakpentek. What ails thee, maiden ? 

Claka. Can ye misunderstand me ? I speak of the Count ^ 
I speak of Egmont. 

Jettee. Speak not the name, 'tis deadly. 

Clara. Not speak his name ? Not Egmont's name ? Is it 
not on every tongue ? Does it not appear everywhere legibly 
inscribed ? I read it emblazoned in golden letters among the 
stars. Not utter it ? What mean ye ? Friends ! Good, kind 
neighbours; ye are dreaming; collect yourselves. Gaze not 
upon me with those fixed and anxious looks ! Cast not such 
timid glances on every side ! I but give utterance to the wish 
of all. Is not my voice the voice of your own hearts ? Who, 
in this fearful night, ere he seeks his restless couch, but on 
bended Imee, will in earnest prayer seek to wrest his life as a 
cherished boon from heaven ? Ask each other ! Let each ask 
his own heart ! And who but exclaims with me, — " Egmont's 
liberty, or death ! " 

Jettek. God help us ! This is a sad business. 

Ceaha. Stay ! Stay ! Shrink not away at the sound of his 
name, to meet whom ye were wont to press forward so joy- 
ously ! — ^When rumour announced his approach, when the cry 
arose, "Egmont comes! He comes from Ghent!" — then 
happy indeed were those citizens who dwelt in the streets 
through which he was to pass. And when the neighing of 
his steed was heard, did not every one throw aside his work, 
while a ray of hope and joy, like a sunbeam from his coun- 
tenance, stole over the toilworn faces that peered from every 
window. Then, as ye stood in the doorways, ye would lift up 
your children in youi arms, and pointing to him, exclaim : 

See, that is Egmont, he who towers above the rest ! 'Tis 
from him that ye must look for better times than those your 
poor fathers have known." Let not your children inquire at 


some future day, " Where is he ? Where are the better times 
ye promised us ? " — Thus we waste the time in idle words ! 
do nothing, — ^betray him. 

SoEST. Shame on thee, Brackenburg ! Let her not run on 
thus ; prevent the mischief. 

Brackenbukg. Dear Clara! Let us go! What will your 
mother say ? Perchance — 

Clara. Think you I am a child, u lunatic ? What avails 
perchance ? — With no vain hope can you hide from me this 
dreadful certainty. 

Ye shall hear me and ye will : for I see it, ye are over- 
whelmed, ye cannot hearken to the voice of your own hearts. 
Through the present peril cast but one glance into the past, 
—the recent past. Send your thoughts forward into the 
future. Could ye live, would ye live, were he to perish? 
With him expires the last breath of freedom. What was he 
not to you ? For whose sake did he expose himself to the 
direst perils ? His blood flowed, his wounds were healed for 
you alone. A dungeon now confines that mighty spirit that 
upheld you all, while around him hover the terrors of secret 
assassination. Perhaps, he thinks of you, — perhaps he hopes 
in you, — he who has been accustomed only to grant favours 
to others and to fulfil their prayers. 

Carpenter. Come, gossip. 

Clara. I have neither the arms, nor the strength of a 
man ; but I have that which ye all lack — courage and con- 
tempt of danger. Oh that my breath could kindle your 
souls ! That, pressing you to this bosom, I could arouse and 
animate you ! Come ! I will march in your midst ! — As a 
waving banner, though weaponless, leads on a gallant army 
of warriors, so shall my spirit hovar, like a flame, over your 
ranks, while love and courage shall unite the dispersed and 
wavering multitude into a terrible host. 

Jetter. Take her away, I pity her, poor thing. 

\ Exeunt Citheus. 

Brackenburg. Clara ! See you not where we are ? 

Clara. Where ? Under the dome of heaven, which has 
so often seemed to arch itself more gloriously as the noble 
Egmont passed beneath it. From these windows I have seen 
them look forth, four or five heads one above the other ; at 
these doors the cowards have &iood, bowing and scraping, if the 



hero but chanced to look dovm upon them ! Oh how dear they 
were to me, when they honoured him. Had he been a tyrant 
they might have turned with indifference from his fall ; but 
they loved him ! ye hands, so prompt to wave caps in his 
honour, can ye not grasp a sword ? And yet. Brackenburg, 
it is for us to chide them ? These arms that have so often 
embraced him, what do they for him now ? Stratagem has 
accomplished so much in the world. You know the ancient 
castle, every passage, every secret way. — Nothing is impos- 
sible, — suggest some plan. — 

Brackenburg. If you would but come home. 

Clara. Well. 

Brackenburg. There at the corner I see Alva's guard ; 
let the voice of reason penetrate to your heart ! Do you deem 
me a coward ? Do you doubt that for your sake I w^ould peril 
my life ? Here we are both mad, I as well as you. Do you 
not perceive that your scheme is impracticable ? Oh be calm ! 
You are beside yourself. 

Clara. Beside myself ! Horrible. You Brackenburg are 
beside j^ourself. When you hailed the hero with loud acclaim, 
called him your friend, your hope, your refuge, shouted 
vivats as he passed : — then I stood in my corner, half opened 
the window, concealed myself while I listened, and my heart 
beat higher than yours who greeted him so loudly. Now it 
again beats higher ! In the hour of peril you conceal your- 
selves, deny him, and feel not, that if he perish, you are lost. 

Brackenburg. Come home. 

Clara. Home ? 

Brackenburg. Recollect yourself ! Look around! These 
are the streets in which you were wont to appear only on the 
sabbath day, when you walked modestly to church ; where, 
over-decorous perhaps, you were displeased if I but joined 
you with a kindly greeting. And now you stand, speak, and 
act before the eyes of the whole v/orld. Recollect yourself, 
love ! How can this avail us ? 

Clara. Home ! Yes, I remember. Come, Brackenburg^ 
]Qt us go home ! Know you where my home lies r 



A Prison. 

Lighted hy a lamp, a couch in the hack-ground. 
Egmont. {alone.) 

Old friend ! Ever faithful sleep, dost thou too forsake me, 
like my other friends ? How wert thou wont of yore to des- 
cend unsought upon my free brow, cooling my temples as 
with a myrtle wreath of love ! Amidst the din of battle, on 
the waves of life, I rested in thine arms, breathing lightly as 
a growing boy. When tempests whistled through the leaves 
and boughs, when the summits of the lofty trees swung 
creaking in the blast, the inmost core of my heart remained 
unmoved. What agitates thee now ? What shakes thy firm 
and steadfast mind ? I feel it, 'tis the sound of the murderous 
axe, gnawing at thy root. Yet I stand erect, but an inward 
shudder runs through my frame. Yes, it prevails, this trea- 
cherous power ; it undermines the firm, the lofty stem, and 
ere the bark withers, thy verdant crown falls crashing to the 

Yet wherefore now, thou who hast so often chased the 
weightiest cares like bubbles from thy brow, wherefore can'st 
thou not dissipate this dire, foreboding which incessantly 
haunts thee in a thousand different shapes. Since when hast 
thou trembled at the approach of death, amid whose varying 
forms, thou wert wont calmly to dwell, as with the other 
shapes of this familiar earth. But 'tis not he, the sudden foe, 
to encounter whom the sound bosom emulously pants ; — 'tis 
the dungeon, dread emblem of the grove, revolting alike to 
the hero, and the coward. How intolerable I used to feel it, 
in the stately hall, girt round by gloomy walls, when, seated 
on my cushioned chair, in the solemn assembly of the princes, 
questions, which scarcely required deliberati/^n, were overlaid 
with endless discussions, while the rafters of the ceiling 
seemed to stifle and oppress me. Then I would hurry forth 
as soon as possible, fling myself upon my horse ^Yith deep- 
drawn breath, and away to the wide champaig!:o, man's 
natural element, where, exhaling from the earth, nature's 
richest treasures are poured forth around us, while, from the 
wide heavens, the stars shed down their blessings tlirough the 
still air ; where, like earthborn giants, we spring aloft, invi- 
gorated by our mother's touch ; where the energies of cur 

being throb in every vein ; where the soul of the young 
nnnter glows with the desire to overtake, to conquer, to cap- 
ture, to possess ; where the warrior, with rapid stride, 
assumes his inborn right to dominion over the world ; and, 
with terrible liberty, sweeps like a desolating hailstorm over 
field and grove, knowing no boundaries, traced by the hand 
of man. 

Thou art but a shadow, a dream of the happiness I so long 
possessed ; where has treacherous fate conducted thee ? Did 
she deny thee, to meet the rapid stroke of never- shunned 
death, in the open face of day, only to prepare for thee a fore- 
taste of the grave, in the midst of their loathsome corruption ? 
How revoltingly its rank odour exhales from these damp 
stones ! Life stagnates, and my foot shrinks from the couch 
as from the grave. 

Oh care, care ! Thou who dost begin prematurely the 
work of murder, — forbear ! — Since when has Egmont been 
alone, so utterly alone in the world ? 'Tis doubt renders thee 
insensible, not happiness. The justice of the king, in which, 
through life thou hast confided, the friendship of the Eegent, 
which, thou may'st confess it, was akin to love, — ^have these 
suddenly vanished, like a meteor of the night, and left thee 
alone upon thy gloomy path ? Will not Orange, at the head 
of thy friends, contrive some daring scheme ? Will not the 
people assemble, and with gathering might, attempt the 
rescue of their faithful friend ? 

Ye walls, which thus gird me round, separate me not from 
the well intentioned zeal of so many kindly souls. And may 
the corn-age with which my glance was wont to inspire the>ai, 
now return again from their hearts to mine. Yes ! they 
assemble in thousands ! they come ! they stand beside me : 
their prayers rise to heaven, and implore a miracle ; and if 
no angel stoops for my deliverance, I see them grasp eagerly 
their lance and sword. The gates are forced, the bolts are 
riven, the walls fall beneath their conquering hands, and 
J^'gmont advances joyously, to hail the freedom of the rising 
mom ! How many well knovrn faces receive me with loud 
acclaim ! Oh Clara ! wert thou a man, I should see thee here 
the very first, and thank thee for that which it is galling t: 
owe even to a king — ^liberty 



Clara^s House, 


Clara, {enters from her chamber with a lamp and a 
glass of water ; she places the glass upon the table afid steps 
to the window), Brackenburg, is it you ? What noise 
was that? No one yet? No one! I will set the lamp in the 
window, that he may see that I am still awake, that I 
still watch for him. He promised me tidings. Tidings r 
horrible certainty! — Egmont condemned! — What tribimal 
has the right to summon him ? — ^And they dare to condemn 
him ! — Is it the king who condemns him, or the duke ? And 
the Regent withdraws herself! Orange hesitates, as do all hif 
friends ! — Is this the world, of whose fickleness and treachery 
I have heard so much, and as yet experienced nothing 1 Is 
this the world ? — Who could be so base as to bear malice 
against one so dear ? Could villainy itself be audacious 
enough to overwhelm with sudden destruction the object of a 
nation's homage? Yet so it is — it is — Oh Egmont, I held 
thee safe before God and man, safe as in my arms ! What 
was I to thee ? Thou hast called me thine, my whole being 
was devoted to thee. What am I now ? In vain I streto^ 
out my hand to the toils that environ thee. Thou helpless, 
and I free ! — Here is the key that unlocks my chamber door. 
My going out and my coming in, depend upon my own caprice ; 
yet, alas, to aid thee I am powerless ! — Oh bind me that I may 
not go mad; hurl me into the deepest dungeon, that I may 
dash my head against the damp walls, groan for freedom, and 
dream how I would rescue him if fetters did not hold me bound. 
— Now I am free, and in freedom lies the anguish of impotence 
— Conscious of my own existence, yet unable to stir a limb in 
his behalf, alas ! even this insignificant portion of thy being, 
thy Clara, is, like thee, a captive, and separated from thee, con- 
sumes her expiring energies in the agonies of death. — I hear 
a stealthy step, — a cough — Brackenburg, — 'tis he! — Kind, im- 
happy man, thy destiny remains ever the same; thy love 
opens to thee the door at night, — alas! to what a doleful 

£nter Brackenbukg. 
Cla RA. You look so pale, so terrified ! Speak, Brackeru 
Durg ! What is the matter ? 




Brackenburg. I have sought you through perils aii'J 
circuitous paths. The principal streets are occupied witl: 
troops ; — through lanes and by-ways I have stolen to you ! 

Clara. Tell me vrhat is going on. 

Brackenburg. (^seating himself). Oh Clara, let me weep^ 
I loved him not. He was the rich man who lured to bettei 
pasture the poor man's solitary lamb. Yet I cursed him 
not, God has created me with a true and tender heart. My 
Hfe was consumed in anguish, and each day I hoped would 
end my misery. 

Clara. Let that be forgotten, Brackenburg ! Forget 
thyself. Speak to me of him ! Is it true ? Is he con- 
demned ? 

Brackenburg. He is ! I know it. 
Clara. And still lives? 
Brackenburg. Yes, he still lives. 

CiARA. How can you be sure of that? Tyranny murders 
its victim in the night ! His blood flows concealed from 
every eye. The people, stunned and bewildered, lie buried 
in sleep, dream of deliverance, dream of the fulfilment of their 
impotent wishes, while, indignant at our supineness, his spirit 
abandons the world. He is no more ! Deceive me not ; 
deceive not thyself! 

Brackenburg. No, — ^he lives ! and the Spaniards, alas, 
are preparing for the people, on whom they are about to 
trample, a terrible spectacle, in order to crush, by a violent 
blow, each heart that yet pants for freedom. 

Clara. Proceed ! Calmly pronounce my death-warrant 
also ! Near and more near I approach that blessed land, and 
already from those realms of peace, I feel the breath of conso- 
lation. Say on. 

Brackenburg. From casual words, dropped here and 
there by the guards, I learned that secretly in the market- 
place they were preparing some terrible spectacle. Through 
by-ways and familiar lanes I stole to my cousin's house, and 
from a back window, looked out upon the market place. 
Torches waved to and fro, in the hands of a wide circle of 
Spanish soldiers. I strained my unaccustomed sight, and out 
of the darkness there arose before me a scaffold, dark, 
spacious, and lofty ! The sight filled me with horror. Several 
persons were employed in covering with black cloth such 



portions of the wood- work as yet remain exposed. The steps 
were covered last, also with black ; — I saw it all. They seemed 
preparing for the celebration of some horrible sacrifice. A 
white crucifix, that shone like silver through the night, was 
raised on one side. As I gazed, the terrible conviction 
strengthened in my mind. Scattered torches still gleamed here 
and there ; gradually they flickered and went out. Suddenly 
the hideous birth of night returned into its mother's womb. 

Clara. Hush, Brackenburg ! Be still ! Let this veil 
rest upon my soul. The spectres are vanished ; and thou, 
gentle night, lend thy mantle to the inwardly fermenting 
earth, she will no longer endure the loathsome burden, shud- 
dering, she rends open her yawning chasms, and with a crash 
swallows the murderous scaffold. And that God, whom in 
their rage they have insulted, sends down his angel from on 
high ; at the hallowed touch of the messenger bolts and bars fly 
back ; he pours around our friend a flood of splendour, and 
leads him gently through the night to liberty. My path 
leads also through the darkness to meet him. 

BRACKENBURa {detaining her). My child, whithei 
would' st thou go ? What would' st thou do. 

Clara. Softly, my friend, lest some one should awake ! 
Lest we should awake ourselves! Know'st thou this phiaJ, 
Brackenburg? I took it from thee once in jest, when thou, 
as was thy wont, didst threaten, in thy impatience, to end 
thy days. — And now my friend — 

Brackenburg. In the name of all the saints ! 

Clara. Thou can'st not hinder me. Death is my por- 
tion ! Grudge me not the quiet and easy deatn which thou 
had'st prepared for thyself. Give me thine hand ! At the 
moment when I unclose that dismal portal through which there 
is no return, I may tell thee, with this pressure of the hand, 
how sincerely I have loved, how deeply I have pitied thee. 
My Brother died young; I chose thee to fill his place; 
thy heart rebelled, thou didst torment thyself and me, 
demanding with still increasing fervour, that which fate 
had not destined for thee. Forgive me and farewell ! Let 
me call thee brother! 'Tis a name that embraces many 
names. Receive, with a true heart, the last fair token 
of the departing spirit — take this kiss. Death unites all, 
Brackenburg — us too it will unite ! 

2 c 2 



Brackenbtjiig. Let me then die with thee ! Share it ! oh 
share it ! There is enough to extinguish two lives. 

Clara. Hold ! Thou must live, thou ean'st live. — Sup- 
port my mother, who, without thee, would be a prey to want. 
Be to her what I can no longer be, live together, and weep for 
me. Weep for our fatherland, and for him who could alone 
have upheld it. The present generation must still endure 
this bitter woe ; vengeance itself could not obliterate it. 
Poor souls, live on, through this gap in time. To-day the 
^orld suddenly stands still, its course is arrested, and my 
pulse will beat but for a few minutes longer. Farewell ! 

Brackenburg. Oh, live with us, as we live only for thy 
sake ! In taking thine own life thou wilt take ours also ; 
still live and suffer. We will stand by thee, nothing shall 
sever us from thy side, and love, with ever-watchful soli- 
citude, shall prepare for thee the sweetest consolation in its 
loving arms. Be ours ! Ours ! I dare not say, mine. 

Clara. Hush, Brackenburg ! You know not what chord 
you touch. Where you see hope, I see only despair. 

Brackenburg. Share hope with the living ! Pause on 
the brink of the precipice, cast one glance into the gulf 
below, and then look back on us. 

Clara. I have conquered; call me not back to the 

Brackenburg. Thou art stunned; enveloped in night 
thou seekest the abyss. Every light is not yet extinguished, 
yet many days ! 

Clara. Alas ! Alas ! Cruelly thou dost rend ' the veil 
from before mine eyes. Yes, the day will dawn ! Despite 
its misty shroud it needs must dawn. The citizen gazes 
timidly from his window, night leaves behind an ebon 
speck ; he looks, and the scaffold looms fearfully in the 
morning light. With re-awakened anguish the desecrated 
image of the Saviour lifts to the Father its imploring eyes. 
The sun veils his beams, he will not mark the hero's death- 
hour. Slowly the fingers go their round — one hour strikes 
after another — hold ! Now is the time . The thought of the 
morning scares me into the grave. [She goes to the window 
as if to look out^ and di'hiks secretly. 

Brackenburg. Clara! Clara! 

Clara, {jgoes to the table, and drinks water.) Here is the 



i*eDiainder. I invite thee not to follow me. Do as thou 
wilt; farewell. Extinguish this lamp silently and without 
delay; I am going to rest. Steal quietly away, close the 
door after thee. Be still! Wake not my mother! Go, 
save thyself, if thou wouldst not be taken for my murderer. 


Brackenburg. She leaves me for the last time as she 
has ever done. What human soul could conceive how 
cruelly she lacerates the heart that loves her. She leaves 
me to myself, leaves me to choose between life and death, 
and both are alike hateful to me. To die alone ! Weep ye 
tender souls ! Fate has no sadder doom than mine. She 
shares with me the death-potion, yet sends me from her side! 
She draws me after her, yet thrusts me back into life ! Oh, 
Egmont, how glorious is thy lot ! She goes before thee 1 
From her hand thou wilt receive the victor's crown. She 
will bring heaven itself to meet thy departing spirit. And 
shall I follow? Again to stand aloof? To carry this in- 
extinguishable jealousy even to yon distant realms ? Earth 
is no longer a tarrying place for me, and hell and heaven 
offer equal torture. How welcome to the wretched the dread 
hand of annihilation ! [_Exit. 

\_The scene remains some time unchajiged. Music sounds^ 
indicating Clara's death; the lamp which Bracken- 
burg had forgotten to extinguish^ flares up ence or 
twice ^ and then suddenly expires. The scc7ie changes to 

A prison. 

Egmont is discovered sleeping on a couch. A rustling of 
keys is heard; the door opens; servants enter with torches; 
Ferdinand and Silva follow^ accompanied hy soldiers. 
Egmont starts from his sleep. 

Egmont. Who are ye that thus rudely banish slumber 
from my eyes? What mean these vague and insolent 
glances ? Why this fearful procession ? With what dream 
of horror come ye to delude my half awakened soul ? 

SiiiVA. The duke sends us to announce your sentence. 

Egmont. Do ye also bring the headsman who is to 
execute it ? 



SiLVA. Listen, and you will know the doom that awaitf; 


Egmont. It is in keeping with the rest of your infamous 
proceedings. Alike conceived and executed in the night, so 
would this audacious act of injustice shroud itself from ob- 
servation ! Step boldly forth, thou who dost bear the sword 
concealed beneath thy mantle ; here is my head, the freest 
ever doomed by tyranny to the block. 

SiLVA. You err ! The righteous judges who have con- 
demned you, will not conceal their sentence from the light of 

Egmont. Then does their audacity exceed all imagination 
and belief. 

SiiiVA. {takes the sentence from an attendant^ unfolds it^ 
and reads.) " In the king's name, and invested by his 
majesty with authority to judge all his subjects, of whatever 
rank, not excepting the knights of the Golden Fleece, we 
declare " 

Egmont. Can the king transfer that authority ? 

SiiiVA. "We declare, after a strict and legal investigation, 
you, Henry, Count Egmont, Prince of Gaure, guilty of high 
treason, and pronounce your sentence : — That at early dawn 
you be led from this prison to the market-place, and that 
there, in sight of the people, and as a warning to traitors, 
your head be severed from your body. Given at Brussels." 
(date and year so indistinctly read as to he imperfectly heard 
by the audience,) " Ferdinand, Duke of Alva, president of 
the tribunal of twelve." 

You know your doom. Brief time remains for you to 
prepare for the impending stroke, to arrange yoiu* affairs, and 
to take leave of your friends. 

\_Exit SiLVA, ivith followers. Ferdinand remains with 
two torch-hearers. The stage is diynly lighted. 

Egmont. {stands for a time, as if buried in thought, and 
allows SiLVA to retire without looking round. He imagines 
himself alone, and, on raising his eyes, beholds Alva's son.) 
Thou tarriest here ? Wouldst thou, by thy presence, aug- 
ment my amazement, my horror? Wouldst thou carry to 
thy father the welcome tidings that thou hast seen me 
overpowered by womanish despair? Go, tell him that he 
deceives neither the world nor me. At fiist it will be 


whispered cautiously behind his back, then spoken more and 
more loudly, and when, at some future day, the ambitious 
man descends from his proud eminence, a thousand voices 
will proclaim — that 'twas not the welfare of the state, nor 
the honour of the king, nor the tranquillity of the provinces, 
that brought him hither. For his own selfish ends he, the 
warrior, has counselled war, that the value of his services 
might be enhanced. He has excited this monstrous insur- 
rection that his presence might be deemed necessary in 
order to quell it. And I fall a victim to his mean hatred, his 
contemptible envy. Yes, I know it, dying and mortally 
wounded I may utter it ; long has the proud man envied me, 
long has he meditated and planned my ruin. 

Even then, when still young, we played at dice together, 
and the heaps of gold passed rapidly from his side to mine, 
he would look on with affected composure, while inwardly 
consumed with rage, more at my success than at his own 
loss. Well do I remember the fiery glance, the treacherous 
pallor that overspread his features, when, at a public festival, 
we shot for a wager before assembled thousands. He 
challenged me, and both nations stood by; Spaniards and 
Netherlanders wagered on either side ; I was the victor ; hi? 
ball missed, mine hit the mark, and the air w^as rent by ac- 
clamations from my friends. His shot now hits me. Tell 
him that I know this, that I know him, that the world 
despises every trophy that a paltry spirit erects for itself by 
base and surreptitious arts. And thou! If it be possible 
for a son to swerve from the manners of his father, practise 
shame betimes, while thou art compelled to feel shame for 
him whom thou wouldst fain revere with thy whole heart. 

Ferdinand. I listen without interrupting thee ! Thy 
reproaches fall like blows upon a helm of steel. I feel the 
shock, but I am armed. Tbey strike, but do not wound me ; 
I am sensible only to the anguish that lacerates my iieart. 
Alas ! Alas ! Have I lived to witness such a scene ? Am 
I sent hither to behold a spectacle like this ? 

Egmont. Dost thou break out into lamentations ! What 
moves, what agitates thee thus Is it a late remorse at 
having lent thyself to this infamous conspiracy r Thou art 
60 young, thy exterior is so prepossessing. Thy demeanoui 
towards me was so friendly^ so unreserved ! So long as I 



beheld thee, I was reconciled with thy father ; and craft}', 
ay, more crafty than he, thou hast lui'ed me into the toils. 
Thou art the wretch ! The monster ! Whoso cod fides in 
him, does so at his own peril; but who could apprehend 
danger in trusting thee ? Go ! Go ! Rob me not of the 
few moments that are left to me ! Go, that I may collect my 
thoughts, forget the world, and thee, first of all ! 

Ferdinand. What can I gay! I stand, and gaze on 
thee, yet see thee not ; I am scarcely conscious of my own 
existence. Shall I seek to excuse myself? Shall I aver that 
it was not till the last moment that I was made aware of my 
father's intentions? That I acted as the constrained, the 
passive instrument of his will? What signifies now the 
opinion thou mayst entertain of me ? Thou art lost ; and I, 
miserable wTetch, stand here but to assure thee of it, and to 
lament thy doom. 

Egjviont. What strange voice, what unexpected consola- 
tion comes thus to cheer my passage to the tomb ? Thou, 
the son of my first, of almost my only enemy, thou dost pity 
me, thou art not associated with my murderers? Speak! 
In what light must ). regard thee ? 

Ferdinand. Cruel father ! Yes, I recognize thy nature 
in this command. Thou didst know my heart, my disposi- 
tion, which thou hast so often censured as the inheritance of 
a tender-hearted mother. To mou»ld me into thine own like- 
ness thou hast sent me hither. Thou dost compel me to 
behold this man on the verge of the yawning grave, in the 
grasp of an arbitrary doom, that I may experience the pro- 
foundest anguish ; that thus, rendered callous to every fate, 
I may henceforth meet every event with a heart unmoved. 

Egmont. I am amazed ! Be calm ! Act and speak like 
a man. 

Ferdinand, (ih, that I were a woman! That they 
might say — what moves, what agitates thee ? Tell me of a 
greater, a more monstrous crime, make me the spectator of a 
more direful deed ; I will thank thee, I will say this was 

Egmont. Thou dost forget thyself. Consider where thou 

Ferdinand. Let this passion rage, let me give vent to 
my anguish. I will not seem cxomposed when my whole 



inner being is convulsed. Must I behold thee hei« ? Thee ? 
It is horrible ? Thou understandest me not ! How shouldst 
thou understand me ? Egmont ! Egmont ! 

\^Falling on his neck, 

Egmont. Explain this mystery. 
Ferdinand. It is no mystery. 

Egmont. How can the fate of a mere stranger thus 
deeply move thee ? 

Ferdinand. Not a stranger ! Thou art no stranger to 
me. Thy name it was that, even from my boyhood, shone 
before me like a star in heaven ? How often have I made 
inquiries concerning thee, and listened to the story of thy 
deeds. The youth is the hope of the boy, the man of the 
youth. Thus didst thou walk before me, ever before me ; 
I saw thee without envy, and followed after, step by step ; 
at length I hoped to see thee — I saw, and my heart embraced 
thee. I had destined thee for myself, and when I beheld 
thee, I made choice of thee anew. I hoped now to know 
thee, to associate with thee, to be thy friend — 'tis over, and 
I meet thee here ! 

Egmont. My friend, if it can be any comfort to thee, be 
assured that the very moment we met, my heart was drawn 
towards thee. Now listen ! Let us exchange a few quiet 
words ; is it the stem, the settled purpose of thy father to 
take my life ? 

Ferdinand. It is. 

Egmont. This sentence is not a mere scarecrow, designed 
to terrify me, to punish me through fear and intimidation, to 
humiliate me, that he may then raise me again by the royal 
favour ? 

Ferdinand. Ala«, no ! At first I flattered myself with 
this delusive hope, and even then my heart was filled with 
anguish to behold thee thus. Thy doom is real ! Is certain ! 
I cannot command myself. Who will counsel, who will aid 
me to meet the inevitable ? 

Egmont. Listen ! If thy heart is impelled so powerfully 
in my favour, if thou dost abhor the tyranny that holds me 
fettered, then deliver me ! The moments are precious. Thou 
urt the son of the all-powerful, and thou hast power thyself. 
Let us fly ! I know the roads ; the means of efiecting our 
escape cannot be unknown to thee. These walls, a few shor* 



miles, alone separate us from my friends. Loose these 
fetters, conduct me to them ; be ours. The king, on some 
future day, will doubtless thank my deliverer. Now he is 
taken by surprise, or perchance he is ignorant of the whole 
proceeding. Thy father ventures on this daring step, and 
majesty, though horror-struck at the deed, must needs sanction 
the irrevocable. Thou dost deliberate? Oh, contrive for 
me the way to freedom ! Speak ; nourish hope in a living 

Ferdinand. Cease ! Oh cease ! Every word deepens 
my despair. There is here no outlet, no counsel, no escape. — 
'Tis this thought that tortures me, that lays hold of my Heart, 
and rends it as with talons. I have myself spread the net ; 
I know its firm, inextricable knots ; I know that every avenue 
is barred alike to courage and to stratagem. I feel that I too 
am fettered, like thyself, like all the rest. Think' st thou that 
I should give way to lamentation if any means of safety re- 
mained untried ? I have thrown myself at his feet, I have 
remonstrated, I have implored. He has sent me hither, in 
order to blast in this fatal moment, every remnant of joy and 
happiness that yet survived within my hearts 

Egmont. And is there no deliverance ? 

Ferdinand. None ! 

Egmont. {stamping his foot) No deliverance ! — Sweet 
life ! Sweet, pleasant habitude of being and of activity ! 
Must I part from thee ! So calmly part I Not amid the 
tumult of battle, the din of arms, the excitement of the fray, 
dost thou send me a hasty fareweM ; thine is no hurried leave ; 
thou dost not abridge the moment of separation. Once more 
let me clasp thy hand, gaze once more into thine eyes, feel 
with keen emotion, thy beauty and thy worth, then resolutely 
tear myself away, and say ;— depart ! 

Ferdinand. Must I stand by, and look passively on; 
unable to save thee, or to give thee aid ! What voice avails 
my lamentation ! What heart but must break under the 
pressure of such anguish ? 

Egmont. Be calm! 

Ferdinand. Thou can'st be calm, thou can'st renounce 
life : led on by necessity, thou can'st advance to the direful 
struggle, with the courage of a hero. What can I do ? What 
ought I to do } Thou dost conquer thyself and us ; thou art 


the victor ; I survive both myself and thee. I have lost my 
iight at the banquet, my banner on the field. The future 
lies before me, dark, desolate, perplexed. 

Egmont. Young friend, whom by a strange fatality, at 
the same moment, I both win and lose, who dost feel for me, 
who dost suffer for me the agonies of death, — look on me ; — 
thou wilt not lose H-e. If my life was a mirror in which thou 
didst love to contemplate thyself, so be also my death. Men 
are not together only when in each other's presence; — ^the 
distant, the departed, still live for us. I shall live for thee, 
and for myself I have lived long enough. I have enjoyed 
each day ; each day, I have performed, with prompt activity, 
the duties enjoined by my conscience. Now my life ends, as 
it might have ended, long, long, ago, on the sands of Grave- 
lines. I shall cease to live ; but I have lived. My friend, 
follow in my steps, lead a cheerful and a joyous life, and 
dread not the approach of death. 

Ferdinand. Thou should'st have saved thyself for us, 
thou could' st have saved thyself. Thou art the cause of thine 
own destruction. Often have I listened when able men dis- 
coursed concerning thee ; foes and friends, they would dispute 
long as to thy worth ; but on one point they were agreed, 
none ventured to deny that thou wert treading a dangerous 
path. How often have I longed to warn thee ! Hadst thou 
no friends ? 

Egmont. I was warned. 

Ferdinand. And when I found all these allegations, 
point for point, in the indictment, together with thy answers, 
containing much that might serve to palliate thy conduct, 
but no evidence weighty enough fully to exculpate thee. 

Egmont. No more of this. Man imagines that he directs 
his life, that he governs his actions, when in fact his existence 
is irresistibly controlled by his destiny. Let us not dwell 
upon this subject ; these reflections I can dismiss with ease — 
not so my apprehensions for these provinces ; yet they too 
will be cared for. Could my blood bring peace to my people, 
how freely should it flow. Alas ! This may not be. Yet it 
ill becomes a man idly to speculate, when the power to act is 
no longer his. If thou canst restrain or guide the fatal 
power of thy father ; do so. Alas, who can ? — Farewell I 

Ferdinand. I cannot leave thee. 


Egmont. Let me urgently recommend my followers to thy 
care I I have worthy men in my service ; let them not be 
dispersed, let them not become destitute ! How fares it with 
Richard, my Secretary ? 

Ferdinand. He is gone before thee. They have be- 
headed him, as thy accomplice in high treason. 

Egmont. Poor soul ! — Yet one word, and then farewell, I 
can no more. However powerfully the spirit may be stirred, 
nature at length irresistibly asserts her rights ; and like a 
child who enjoys refreshing slumber though enveloped in a 
serpent's folds, so the weary one lays himself down to rest 
before the gates of death, and sleeps soundly, as though a 
toilsome journey yet lay before him. — One word more, — I 
know a maiden ; thou wilt not despise her because she was 
mine. Since I can commend her to thy care, I shall die in 
peace. Thy soul is noble ; in such a man, a woman is sure to 
find a protector. Lives my old Adolphus ? Is he free ? 

Ferdinand. The active old man, who always attended 
thee on horseback? 

Egmont, The same. 

Ferdinand. He lives, he is free. 

Egmont. He knows her dwelling ; let him guide thy 
steps thither, and reward him to his dying day, for having 
shown thee the way to this jewel. — Farewell! 

Ferdinand. I cannot leave thee. 

Egmont. {urging him toioards the door). Farew^ell ! 

Ferdinand. Oh let me linger yet a moment ! 

Egmont. No leave-taking, my friend. 
( He accompanies Ferdinand to the door., and then tears himself 

away; Ferdinand overwhelmed with griefs hastily retires.) 
Egmont {alone,) 

Egmont. Cruel man! Thou didst not think to render 
me this service through thy son. He has been the means of 
relieving my mind from the pressure of care and sorrow", from 
fear and every anxious thought. Gently, yet urgently, 
nature claims her final tribute. 'Tis past ! — Tis resolved ! 
And the reflections which, in the suspense of last night, kept 
me wakeful on my couch, now with resistless certainty, lull 
my senses to repose. 

{He seats himself upon the couch ; music.) 

Sweet sleep ! Like the purest happiness, thou comest moa* 


willingly, uninvited, ansought. Thou dost loosen the knots 
of earnest thoughts, dost mingle all images of joy aid of sor- 
row, unimpeded the circle of inner harmony flows on, and 
wrapped in fond delusion, we sink into oblivion, and cease 
to be. 

\He sleeps; music accompanies Ms slumber. The waV 
behind his couch appears to open and discovers a bril- 
liant apparition. Freedom^ in a celestial garb^ sur- 
rounded by a glory, reposes in a cloud. Her features 
are those of Clara and she inclines towards the sleeping 
hero. Her countenance betokens compassion, she seems 
to lament his fate. Quickly she recovers herself and 
with an encouraging gesture exhibits the symbols of free- 
dan, the bundle of arrows, with the staff and cap. She 
encourages him to be of good cheer, and while she sig- 
nifies to hir^, that his death will secure the freedom of 
the provinces^ she hails him as a conqueror, and extends 
to him a laurel crown. As the wreath appt^oaches his 
head, Egmont moves like one asleep, and reclines with 
his face towards hsr. She holds the wreath suspended 
over his head ; — martial music is heard in the distance^ 
at the first sound the vision disappears. The music 
grows louder and louder. Egmont awakes. The prison 
is dimly illumined by the dawn. — His first impulse is to 
lift his hand to his head , he stands up, and gazes rounds 
his hand still imraised. 
The crown is vanished ! Beautiful vision, the light ot day 
has frighted thee ! Yes, tbey revealed themselves to my 
sight, uniting in one radiant form the two sweetest joys of 
my heart. Divine Liberty borrowed the mien of my beloved 
one ; the lovely maiden arrayed herself in the celestial garb 
of her friend. In a solemn moment they appeared united 
with aspect more eanicst than tender. With blood-staiued 
feet the vision approached, the waving folds of her robe also 
were tmged witn blood. It was my blood, and the biooa of 
many brave hearts. No ! It shall not be shed in vain ! 
Forward ! Brave people ! The goddess of liberty leads you 
on ! And as the sea breaks through and destroys the barriers 
that would oppose its fury, so do ye overwhelm the bulwark 
of tyranny, and with your impetuous flood sweep it away 
^om the land which it usurps. [Drums, 



Hark ! Hark! How often has this sound summoned my 
joyous steps to the field of battle and of victory! How 
bravely did I tread, with my gallant comrades, the dangerous 
path of fame 1 And now, from this dungeon I shall go forth, 
to meet a glorious death ; I die for freedom, for whose cause 
I have lived and fought, and for whom I now offer myself up 
a sorrowing sacrifice. 

[ The back-ground is occupied by Spanish soldiers with 

Yes, lead them on ! Close your ranks, ye terrify me not. 
I am accustomed to stand amid the serried ranks of war, and 
environed by the threatening forms of death, to feel, with 
double zest, the energy of life. [^Drums. 

The foe closes round on every side ! Swords are flashing ; 
courage, friends ! Behind are your parents, your wives, your 
children 1 [^Pointing to the guard. 

And these are impelled by the word of their leader, not by 
their own free will. Protect your homes ! And to save 
those who are most dear to you, be ready to follow my 
example, and to fall with joy. 

\_Drums, As he advances through the guards towards the 
door in the hack ground, the curtain falls. The musio 
joins in, and the scene closes with a symphony oj 






GoETZ VON Berlichingen, the hero of the following 
drama, flourish^: 1 in the loth century, during the reign of 
Maximilian the First, Emperor of Germany. Previous to 
this period, every German noble holding a tief immediately 
from the Emperor, exercised on his estate a species of sove- 
reignty subordinate to the imperial authority alone. Thus, 
from the princer and prelates possessed of extensive terri- 
tories, down to 1 he free kni<>:hts and barons, whose domains 
consisted of a castle and a few acies of momitain and forest 
ground, each was a petty monarch upon his own property, 
independent of all control but the remote supremacy of tho 

Among the extensive rights conferred by such a constitu- 
tion, that of waging war against each other by their own 
private authority, was most precious to a race of proud and 
military barons. These private wars were called fends, and 
the privilege of carr^^ing them on was named Faustrecht 
(club-law). As the empire advanced in civilization, the evils 
attending feuds became dreadfully conspicuous : each petty 
knight was by law entitled to make war upon his neighbours 
without any further ceremony than three days previous 
defiance by a written form called Felidhrief. Even the 
Golden Bull, which remedied so many evils in the Germanic 
body, left this dangerous privilege in full vigour. In time 
the residence of every free baron became a fortress, from, 
which, as his passions or avarice dictated, sallied a band ot^ 
marauders to back his quarrel, or to collect an extorted 
revenue from the merchants who presumed to j^ass through 
his domain At length whole bands of these free -booting 
nobles used to league together for the purpose of mutual 
defence against their more powerful neighbours, as likewise 
for that of predatory excursions against the princes, free 
towns, and ecclesiastic states of the empire, whose wealth 
tempted the needy barons to exercise against them their 
privilege of %vaging private war. These confederacies were 

2 1/ 



distinguished by various titles expressive of their object : v/o 
find among them the Brotherhood of the Mace, the Knights 
of the Bloody Sleeve, &c., &c. If one of the brotherhood 
was attacked, the rest marched vrithout delay to his assist- 
ance ; and thus, though individually w^eak, the petty feuda- 
tories maintained their ground against the more powerful 
members of the empire. Their independence and privileges 
were recognised and secured to them by many edicts ; and 
though hated and occasionally oppressed by the princes and 
ecclesiastical authorities, to whom in return they were a 
scourge and a pest, they continued to m.aintain tenaciously 
the good old privilege (as they termed it) of Faustrecht^ 
which they had inherited from their fathers. Amid the 
obvious mischiefs attending such a state of society, it must 
be allowed that it is frequently the means of calling into 
exercise the highest heroic virtues. Men daily exposed to 
danger, and living by the constant exertion of their courage, 
acquired the virtues as well as the vices of a savage state ; 
and among many instances of cruelty and rapine, occur not a 
few of the most exalted valour and generosity. If the fort- 
ress of a German knight was the dread of the wealthy mer- 
chant and abbot, it was often the ready and hospitable refuge 
of the weary pilgrim and oppressed peasant. Although the 
owner subsisted by the plunder of the rich, yet he was 
frequently beneficent to the poor, and beloved by his own 
family dependents and allies. The spirit of chivalry doubt- 
less contributed much to soften the character of these 
marauding nobles. A respect for themselves taught them 
generosity towards their prisoners, and certain acknowledged 
rules prevented many of the atrocities which it might have 
been expected would have marked these feuds. No German 
noble, for example, if made captive, was confined in fetters 
or in a dungeon, but remained a prisoner at large upon his 
parole (which was called knightly loard), either in the castle 
of his conqueror or in some other j^lace assigned to him. 
The same species of honourable captivity was often indulged 
the Emperor to offenders of a noble rank, of which some 
instances will be found in the following pages. 

Such was the state of the German nobles, when, on the 
7th of August, 1495, was publishe'^1 the memorable edict of i 
SIi>iimilian for the establishment of the public peace of the ■ 



^uipire. By this ordinance, the right of private wlt was 
totally abrogated, under the penalty of the Ban of the em- 
pire, to be enforced by the Imperial Chamber then instituted. 
This was at once a sentence of anathema secular and spiritual, 
containing the dooms of outlawy and excommunication.—* 
This ordinance was highly acceptable to the princes, bishops, 
and free towns, who had little to gain and much to lose in 
these perpetual feuds; and they combined to enforce it with 
no small severity against the petty feudatories: — these, on 
the other hand, sensible that the very root of their import- 
ance consisted in their privilege of declaring private w^ar, with- 
out which they foresaw they would not long be able to main- 
tain their independence, struggled hard against the execution 
cf this edict ; by which their confederacies were declared 
unlawful, and all means taken from them of resisting their 
richer neighbours. 

Upon the jarring interests of the princes and clergy on the 
on<5 hand, and of the free knights and petty imperial feuda-' 
tories on the other, arise the incidents of the following drama. 
The hero, Goetz von Bcrlichingen, was in reality a zealous 
champion for the privileges of the free knights, and was re- 
peatedly laid under the Ban of the empire for the feuds ia 
which he was engaged, from which he was only released in 
consequence of high reputation for gallantry and generosity. 
His life was published at Nuremberg, 1731 ; and some account 
of his exploits, with a declaration of feud (Fehdbrief ) issued 
by him against that city, will be foimd in Meusel s Inquiry 
futo History, vol. 4th. 

While the princes and free knights were thus banded 
against each other, the peasants and bondsmen remained in 
the most abject state of ignorance and oppression. This 
occasioned at different times the most desperate insurrec- 
iions, resembling in their nature, and in the atrocities com- 
mitted by the furious insm'gents, the rebellions of Tyler and 
Cade in England, or that of the Jacquerie in France. Such 
an event occurs in the following tragedy. There is also a 
scene founded upon the noted institution called the Secret or 
Invisible Tribunal. With this extraordinary judicatory, the 
members and executioners of which were unknown, and met 
in secret to doom to death those criminals whom other courts 
of justice could not reach, the English reader has been mado 

2 D 2 



acquainted by several translations from the German, particu- 
larly the excellent romances called Herman of Unna, and Alf 
von Duilman. 

The following drama was written by the elegant author of 
the Sorrows of Werter, in imitation, it is said, of the manner 
of Shakespeare. This resemblance is not to be looked for in 
the style or expression, but in the outline of the characters, 
and mode of conducting the incidents of the piece. In Ger- 
many it is the object of enthusiastic admiration; partly owing 
doubtless to the force of national partiality towards a per- 
formance in which the ancient manners of the country are 
faithfully and forcibly painted. Losing, however, this advan- 
tage, and under all the defects of a translation, the translator 
ventures to hope that in the following pages there will still 
be found something to excite interest. Some liberties have 
been taken with the original, in omitting two occasional dis- 
quisitions upon the civil law as practised in Germany ^\ Literal 
accuracy has been less studied in the translation, than an 
attempt to convey t^e spirit and general effect of the piece. 
Upon the whole, it is hoped the version will be found faithful ; 
of which the translator is less distrustful, owing to the friend- 
ship of a gentleman of high literary eminence, who has oblig* 
ingly taken the trouble of superintending the publication. 


Edinburgh, 3rd February/, 1799. 

♦ Ir. the present revision these omitted portions are res^owa. 



Maximilian, Emperor of Germany. 

GoETz VON Berlichixgen, a free knight of the empire 

Elizabeth, his wife. 

Maria, his sister. 

Charles, his son — a boy. 

George, his page. 

Bishop of Bamberg. 

Adelbert von Weislingen, a free German knight of the empiro. 

Adelaide von Walldorf, widow of the Count von Walldort, 

Liebtraut, a Courtier of the Bisliop's. 

Abbot of Fulda, residing at the Bishop's court. 

Olearius. a doctor of laws. 

Brother Martin, a monk. 

Lerse, a trooper. 

Francis, esquire to Weislingen. 

Female Attendant on Adelaide. 

President, Accuser, and Avenger of the .Secret Tribuiial. 
Metzler, 1 
Sievers, I 

Link, > Leaders of the Insurgent rci?t.nt;y. 

Kohl, | 
Wild, j 
Imperial Commissioners. 
Two Merchants of Nuremberg. 
Magistrates of Heilbronn. 
Maximilian Stumf, avassal of the Paisgr.'ive. 
An unknown. 
Bride's father, "l 

Gip?y capiairi, 
Gipsy mother and women. 
Sticks and Wolf, gipsies. 
Imperial captain. 
Imperial officers. 


Imperial Soldiers — ^Troopers belongmg to Goetz, to SelbUz, to Sickmgen, 
and to Weislingen — Peasants — Gipsies— Judges of the Secret Tribuo&l 
— Gaolers — Courtiers, &c. &c. &c. 

Hans von Selbitz, 
Franz von Sickingen 

•Free knights, in alliance with Gociz. 

Bride, ^ 
Bridegroom, 1 




SCENE 1. An I?m at Schwarzenherg Z7i Franconia, 

Metzlek and Sievehs, two Swahian peasants^ are srated at a 
table — At the Jire^ at some distance from them, two troopt^rs 
from Bamberg — The Innkeeper. 

SiEVERS. Hansel! Another cup of brandy — and Chris- 
tian measure. 

Innkeeper. Thou art a Never-enough. 

Metzler {apart to Sieveys), Repeat that again about 
Berlichingen — The Bambergers there are so angry they are 
ahnost black in the face. 

SiEVERs. Bambergers ! — ^What are they about here ^ 

Metzler. Weislingen has been two days up yonder at the 
Castle with the Earl — they are his attendants — they came 
with him I know not whence; they are waiting for him — He 
is going back to Bamberg. 

Sievers. Who is that Weislingen ? 

Metzler. The Bishop of Bam berg's right hand! a power- 
ful lord, who is lying in wait to play Goetz some trick. 

Sievers. He had better take care of himself. 

Metzler {aside). Prithee go on! {Aloud.) How long 
is it since Goetz had a new dispute with the Bishop ? I thought 
all had been reconciled and squared between them. 

Sievers. Aye! lleconciliation with Priests! — ^When the 
Bishop saw he could do no good, and always got the worst af 

gc. I.J 

GOETZ yoN UKUriCfllNGEir. 


It, lie pulled in his horas, and made haste to patch up n 
truce — and honest Berlichingen let him off very easily, as he 
always does when he has got the advantage. 

Metzler. God bless him ! a worthy nobleman. 

SiEYERs. Only think ! Was it not shameful r They fell 
upon a page of his, to his no small surprise ; but they will 
soon be mauled for that. 

Metzler. How provoking that his last stroke should hav^ 
missed. He must have been plaguily annoyed. 

SiEVERS. I don't think anything has vexed him so much 
for a long time. Look you, all had been calculated to a 
nicety ; the time the Bishop would come from the bath, w^ith 
how many attendants, and which road ; and, had it not been 
betrayed by some traitor, Goetz would have blessed his bath 
for him, and rubbed him dry. 

First Trooper. What are you prating there about our 
Bishop ; Do you want to pick a quarrel ? 

SiEYERS. Mind yom* own affairs ; you have nothing to 
do with our table. 

Second Trooper. Who taught you to speak disrespect- 
fully of our Bishop r 

SiEVERS. Am I bound to answer yoz^r questions ? — Look at 
the fool ! — (27ie first Trooper hoxes his ears.^ 

Metzler. Smash the rascal ! {They, attack each other.) 

Second Trooper {to Metzler). Come on it* you dare — 

Innkeeper (separating them). Will you be quiet? 
Zounds ! Take yourselves off if you have any scores to 
settle; in my house I will have order and decency. {He 
pushes the Troopers out of doors.) — And what are you about, 
3/ ou jackasses ? 

Metzler. No bad names. Hansel ! or your sconce shall 
pay for it. Come, comrade, we'll go and thrash those 

Enter two o/Berlichingen's Troopers. 

First Trooper. What's the matter ? 

Sievers. Ah ! Good day, Peter ! — Good day, Yeit ! — 
Whence come you ? 

Second Trooper. Mind you don't let out w^hom "WG 

Sieteks {ivMspering), Then your master Goetz i^Vut 
fiir off? 



[act I. 

First Trooper. Hold your tongue! — Have you nad 
a quarrel? 

SiEVERs. You must have met the fellows without — they 
Tire Bambergers, 

First Trooper. What brings them here 1 

SiEVERS. They escort Weislingen, who is up yonder 
at the Castle with the Earl. 

First Trooper. Weislingen r 

Second Trooper {aside to his companion) Peter, that 
is grist to our mill — How long has he been here ? 

Metzler. Two days — but he is off to-day, as I heard one 
of his fellows say. 

First Trooper {aside). Did I not tell you he was 
here ? — We might have waited yonder long enough — Come, 

SiEVERS. Help us first to drub the Bambergers. 

Second Trooper. There are already two of you — 
must away — Farewell! \ Exeunt both Troopers. 

SiEVERS. Scurvy dogs, these troopers ! They won't strike 
a blow without pay. 

Metzler. I could swear they have something in hand. — 
Whom do they serve ? 

SiEVERS. I am not to tell They serve Goetz. 

Metzler. So ! — Well, now we'll cudgel those fellows 
outside — ^While I have a quarter-staff I care not for their 

SiEVERS. If we durst but once serve the princes in the 
same manner, who drag our skins over our ears ! [_Exeitrt, 

SCENE n. A cottage in a thick forest. 

Goetz von Berlichingen discovered walking among the 
trees before the door, 

Goetz. Where linger my servants ? — I must walk up 
and down, or sleep will overcome me — Five days and nights 
already on the watch — It is hardly earned, this bit of life 
and freedom. But when I have caught thee, Weislingen, I 
shall take my ease. {Fills a glass of wine and drinks; looka 

at the flask.) — Again empty. George ! — While this and 

my courage last, I can laugh at the ambition and chicanery of 

sc. II.] 


princes ? — George ! — ^You may send round your obsei|uious 
Weislingen to your uncles and cousins to calumniate my 
character — Be it so — I am on the alert. — ^Thou hast escaped 
me, Bishop ; then thy dear Weislingen shall pay the score. — 
George ! — Doesn't the boy hear ? — George ! George ! 

George {entering in the cuirass of a full-grown man).. 
Worshipful sir. 

GoETZ. What kept you ? Were you asleep ? — ^What in 
the devil's name means this masquerade ? — Come hither ; 
you don't look amiss. Be not ashamed, boy; you look 
bravely. Ah ! if you could but fill it ! — Is it Hans' cuirass ? 

George. He wished to sleep a little, and unbuckled it. 

GoETZ. He takes things easier than his master. 

George. Do not be angry ! I took it quietly away and 
put it on, then fetched my father's old sword from the wall, 
ran to the meadow, and drew it 

GoETZ. And laid about you, no doubt? — Rare work 
among the brambles and thorns ! — Is Hans asleep ? 

George. He started up and cried out to me when you 
called — I was trying to unbuckle the cuirass when I heard 
you twice or thi'ice. 

GoETZ. Go take back his cuirass, and tell him to be 
ready with the horses. 

George. I have fed them well and they are ready 
bridled ; you may mount when, you will. 

GoETZ. Bring me a stoup of wine. Give Hans a glass 

too, and tell him to be on the alert there is good cause ; 

I expect the return of my scouts every moment. 

George. Ah ! noble Sir ! 

GoETZ. What's the matter ? 

George. May I not go with you ? 

GoETZ. Another time, George ! when we waylay mer- 
chants and seize their waggons — 

George. Another time ! — You have said that so often. — 
O, this time, this time ! I will only skulk behind ; just keep 
on the look-out — I will gather up all the spent arrows for you. 

GoETZ. Next time, George ! — You must first have a 
doublet, a Ftcel cap, and a lance. 

George. Take me with you now ! — Had I been with yea 
Jast time, you would not have lost your cross-bow. 

GoETZ Do you know about that r 


George. You threw it at your antagonist's head; one 
of his followers picked it up, and off with it he went.— 
Don't I know about it ? 

GoETZ. Did my people tell you ? 

George. O yes : and for that, I whistle them all sorts 
of tunes while we dress the horses, and teach them merry 
songs, too. 

Goetz. Thou art a brave boy. 

George. Take me with you to prove myself so, 

Goetz. The next time, I promise you ! You must not go 
to battle unarmed as you are. There is a time coming which 
will also require men. I tell thee boy, it will be a dear time. 
Princes shall offer their treasures for a man whom they now 
hate. Go, George, give Hans his cuirass again, and bring me 
wine. {Exit George.) Where can my people be ? It 

is incomprehensible ! A monk ! WTiat brings him here 

so late ? 

Mite)' Brother Martin. 

Goetz. Good evening, reverend father ! Whence come 
you so late ? Man of holy rest, thou shamest many knights. 

Martin. Thanks, noble Sir! I am at present but an 
unworthy brother, if we come to titles. My cloister name 
is Augustin, but 1 like better to be called by my christian 
name, Martin. 

Goetz. You are tired, brother Martin, and doubtless 

Enter George with ivine, 
Goetz. Here, in good time, comes wine ! 
Martin. For me a draught of water. I dare not drink 

Goetz. Is it against your vow ? 

Martin. Noble Sir, to drink wine is not against my 
vow ; but because wine is against my vow, therefore I draik 
it not. 

Goetz How am I to understand that ? 
Martin. 'Tis well for thee that thou dost not understand 
it. Eating and drinking nourish man's life. 
Goetz. Well ! 

Martin. When thou hast eaten and drunken, thou art 
as it were new born, stronger, bolder, fitter for action. 
Wine reioio:?s the heart of man, and joyousness is the mothe? 



of every virtue. ^Vhen thou hast drunk wine thou art 
double what thou shouldst be ! twice as ingenious, twice as 
enterprising, and twice as active. 

GoETZ. As I drink it, what you say is true. 

Martix. 'Tis when thus taken in moderation that I speak 

of it. But we (Geo RGB brings water, Goetz speaks 

hhn apart,) 

GoETZ {to George). Go to the road -which leads to 
Daxbach ; lay thine ear close to the earth, and listen for the 
tread of horses. Return immediately. 

Martin. But we, on the other hand, when we hjjve 
eaten and drunken, are the reverse of what we should be. 
Our sluggish digestion depresses our mental powers ; and in 
the indulgence of luxurious ease, desires are generated which 
grow too strong for our weakness. 

GoETZ. One glass, brother Martin, will not disturb your 
sleep. You have travelled far to-day. {Helps him to wine,) 
Here's to all fighting men ! 

Martiit. With all my heart ! {They ring iheir glasses.) I 
cannot abide idle people — yet will I not say that all monks 
are idle ; they do what they can : I am just come from St. 
Bedc, where I slept last night. The Piior took me into 
the garden ; that is their hive. Excellent salad, cabbages 
in perfection, and such cauliflowers and artichokes as you will 
hardly find in Europe. 

GoETZ. So that is not the life for you? {Goes out and 
looks anxiously after the boy. Returns.) 

Martin. Would that God had made me a gardener, or 
day labourer, I might then have been happy ! My convent is 
Erfurt in Saxony ; my Abbot loves me ; he knows I cannot 
remain idle, and so he sends me round the country, 
wherever there is business to be done. I am on my way to 
the bishop of Constance. 

Goetz. Another glass. Good speed to you ! 

Martin. The same to you. 

Goetz. Why do you look at me so steadfastly, brother? 
Martin. I am in love with your armour. 
Goetz. Would you like a suit ? It is heavy, and toilsome 
CO the wearer. 

Martin. What is not toilsome in this world ?— But to 
me nothing is so much so as to renounce my veiy iiaturc ?' 



[act I 

Poverty, chastity, obedience — three vows, each of whicli 
taken singly seems the most dreadful to himianity— so in- 
supportable arc they all ; — and to spend a life-time under this 
burthen, or to groan despairingly under the still heavier load 
of an evil conscience — Ah ! Sir Knight, what are the toils 
of your life compared to the sorrows of a state, which, 
from a mistaken desire of drawing nearer to the Deity, 
condemns as crimes the best impulses of our nature, impulses 
by which we live, grow, and pros])er ! 

GoETZ. Were your vow less sacred, I would give you a 
suit of armour and a steed, and we w^ould ride out together. 

Martin. Would to heaven my shoulders had strength to 
bear armour, and my arm to unhorse an enemy ! — Poor weak 
hand, accustomed from infancy to swing censers, to bear 
crosses and banners of peace, how couldst thou manage the 
lance and falchion? My voice, tuned only to Aves and 
Halleluiahs, would be a herald of my weakness to the enemy, 
while yours would overpower him. ; otherwise no vows should 
keep me from entering an order founded by the Creator 

GoETZ. To your happy return ! {Drinhs,) 

Martin. I drink that only in compliment to you ! A 
return to my prison must ever be unhappy. When you, Sir 
Knight, return to your castle, with the consciousness of your 
courage and strength, w^hich no fatigue can overcome ; w^hen 
you, for the first time, after a long absence, stretch yourself 
unarmed upon your bed, secure from the attack of enemies, 
and resign yourself to a sleep sweeter than the draught after 
a long thirst — then can you speak of happiness. 

GoETZ. And accordingly it comes but seldom ! 

Martin {ivith growing ardour). But when it does come, 
it is a foretaste of paradise. — When you return home laden 
with the spoils of your enemies, and, remember, such a one 
I struck from his horse ere he could discharge his piece — 
such another I overthrew, hoi se and man then you ride to 
your Castle, and — 

Goetz. And what? 

Martin. And your vAfo — {Fills a glass.) To hei healtli! 
{He tvipes his eyes.) You have one ? 
Goetz. A virtuous, noble wife ! 

Martin. Happy the man who possesses a virtuous wif3, 



his life is doubled. This blessing was denied me, yet was 
T/oman the glory or crown of creation. 

GoETZ {aside). I grieve for him. The sense of his con- 
dition preys upon his heart. 

Enter Geokge, hreathless. 

George. My Lord, my Lord, I hear horses in full gallop ! 
- -two of them — 'Tis they for certain. 

GoETZ. Bring out my steed ; let Hans mount. Farewell, 
dear brother, God be with you. Be cheerful and patient. 
He will give you ample sccpe. 

Martin. Let me request your name. 

GoETZ. Pardon me — Farewell ! {Gives his left hand,) 

Martin. Why do you give the left? — Am I unworthy of 
the knightly right hand ? 

GoETZ. Were you the Emperor, you must be satisfied 
with this. My right hand, though not useless in combat, is 
unresponsive to the grasp of affection. It is one with its 
mailed gauntlet — You see, it is iron ! 

Martin. Then art thou Goetz of Berlichingen. I thank 
thee, Heaven, who hast shown me the man whom princes 
hate, but to whom the oppressed throng ! {He takes his right 
hand,) With(h'aw not this hand, let me kiss it. 

GoETZ, You must not ! 

Martin. Let me, let me — Thou hand, more worthy even 
than the saintly relique through which the most sacred blood 
has flowed! lifeless instrument, quickened by the noblest 
spirit's faith in God. 

(GoETZ adjusts his helmet, and takes his lance,) 

Martin. There was a monk among us about a year ago, 
w^ho visited you when your hand was shot off at the siege of 
Landshut. He used to tell us what you suffered, and your 
grief at being disabled for your profession of arms ; till ycu 
remembered having heard of one who had also lost a han 1, 
and yet served long as a gallant knight — I shall never forget it. 
Enter the tico Troopers. They speak apart luitJi Goetz. 

Martin (^continuing), I shall never forget his word.s 
uttered in the noblest, the most childlike trust in God : " If 
I had twelve hands, what would they avail me without thy 
5?^race ? then may I with only one—" 

GoETZ. In the wood of Haslach then. {Turns Martin.) 
Varewell, worthy brother ! [^Embraces him 



[act 1\ 

Maktin. Forget me not, as I shall never forget thee ! 

\_Exeunt Goetz and his Thoopers. 

Martin. How my heart beat at the sight of him. He 
spoke not, yet my spirit recognized his. What rapture to 
l)ehold a great man ! 

George. Reverend sir, you will sleep here ? 

Martin. Can I have a bed ^ 

George. No, sir ! I know of beds only by hearsay ; in 
our quarters there is nothing but straw. 

Martin. It will serve. What is thy name ? 
• George. George, reverend sir. 

Martin. George ! Thou hast a gallant patron saint. 

George. They say he was a trooper; that is what 1 
intend to be ! 

Martin. Stop ! ( Takes a picture from his Ireviary and 
gives it to him.) There behold him — follow his example; be 
brave, and fear God. \_Exit info the cottage. 

George. Ah ! what a splendid grey horse ! If I had but 
one like that — and the golden armour. There is an ugly 
dragon. At present I shoot nothing but sparrows. O, St. 
George ! make me but tall and strong ; give me a lance, 
armour, and such a horse, and then let the dragons come ! 


SCENE III. A7i Apartment in Jaxthausen, the Castle oj 
Goetz von Berlichingen. 

Elizabeth, Maria, and Charles discovered, 

Charles. Pray now, dear aunt, tell me again that story 
about the good child ; it is so pretty 

Maria. Do you tell it to me, little rogue ! that I may 
gee if you have paid attention. 

Charles. Wait then till I think. — "There was once 
upon" — ^Yes — " There was once upon a time a child, and his 
mother was sick ; so the child went " 

Maria. No, no ! " Then his mother said, ' Dear 

child,' " 

Charles. " I am sick " 

Maria . " And cannot go out.'' 

sc. iir.j 



Charles. " And gave him money and said, ' Go and buy 
fourself a breakfast.' There came a poor man—" 

Maria. " The child went. There met him an old man 
who was " Now, Charles ! 

Charles. " Who was— old " 

Maria. Of course. "Who was hardly able to walk, 
and said, ' Dear child' " 

Charles. 'Give me something; I have eaten not a 
morsel yesterday or to-day.' Then the child gave him the 
money " 

Maria. *'That should have bought his breakfast." 

Charles. " Then the old man said " 

Maria. " Then the old man took the child by the 
hand " 

Charles. " By the hand, and said — and became a fine 
beautiful saint — and said — ' Dear child' " 

Mart A. " ' The holy Virgin rewards thee for thy 
benevolence through me : whatever sick person thou 
touchest ' " 

Charles. " ' With thy hand — — ' " It was the right 
hand, I think. 

Maria. Yes. 

Charles. " ' He will f.';ot well directly.' " 
Maria. " Then the child ran home, and could not speak 
for joy " 

Charles. " And fell upon his mother's neck and wept for 


Maria. " Then the mother cried, ' What is this ?' and 
became " Now, Charles. 

Charlies. " Became — ^became " 

Maria. You do not attend — " and became well. And the 
child cured kings and emperors, and became so rich that he 
built a great abbey." 

Elizabeth. I cannot understand why my husband stays. 
He has been away five days and nights, and he hoped to 
have finished his adventure so quickly. 

Maria. I have long felt uneasy. Were J xxxarried to a 
man who continually incurred such danger, ^ should die 
within the first year. 

Elizabeth. I thank God that he has made me of finner 


[_ACT r. 

Chakles. But must my father ride out^ if it is so 
dangerous ? 

Mabia. Such is his good pleasure. 
Elizabeth. He must indeed, dear Charles ! 
Charles. Why ? 

Elizabeth. Do you not remember the last time he rode 
out, when he brought you those nice things ? 

Chables. Will he bring me anything now ? 

Elizabeth. I believe so. Listen : there was a tailor at 
Stutgard who was a capital archer, and had gained the prize 
at Cologne. 

Charles. Was it much ? 

Elizabeth. A hundred dollars; and afterwards they 
would not pay him. 

Maria. That was naughty, eh, Charles ? 
Charles. Naughty people ! 

Elizabeth. The tailor came to your father and begged 
him to get his money for him ; then your father rode out and 
intercepted a party of merchants from Cologne, and kept them 
prisoners till they paid the money. Would you not have 
ridden out too ? 

Charles. No ; for one must go through a dark thick 
wood, Avhere there are gipsies and v/itches 

Elizabeth. You're a fine fellow ; afraid of witches ! 

Maria. Charles, it is far better to live at home in your 
castle, like a quiet Christian knight. One may find opportu- 
nities enough of doing good on one's own lands. Even the 
wwthiest knights do more harm than good in their excursions. 

Elizabeth. Sister, you know not what you are saying.— 
God grant our boy may become braver as he grows up, and 
not take after that Weislingen, who has dealt so faithlessly 
wdtn my husband. 

Maria. We will not judge, Elizabeth. — My brother is 
highly incensed, and so are you ; I am only a spectator in the 
matter, and can be more impartial. 

Elizabeth. Weislingen cannot be defended. 

Maria. What I have heard of him has interested me.— 
Even your husband relates many instances of his former good- 
ness and aflPection. — How happy was their youth when they 
were both pages of honour to the Margrave ^ 

Elizabeth. That may be. But only tell me, how cart 



a man ever have been good who lays snares for his best and 
tmest friend ? who has sold his services to the enemies of my 
husband; and who strives, by in\idious misrepresentations, 
to poison the mind of our noble emperor, who is so gracious 
cons? horn is heard.) 

Charles. Papa! papa! the warder sounds his horn- - 
Joy ! joy ! he opens the gate ! 

Elizabeth. There he comes with booty ! 

Enter Peter. 

Peter. We have fought — we have conquered! — God save 
you, noble ladies ! 

Elizabeth. Have you captured Weislingen ? 

Peter. Himself, and three followers. 

Elizabeth. How came you to stay so long? 

Peter. We lay in wait for him between Nuremberg and 
Bamberg, but he would not come, though we knew he had set 
out. At length we heard of his whereabouts ; he had struck 
off sideways, and was staying quietly with the earl at Schwar- 

Elizabeth. They would also fain make the earl my hus- 
band's enemy. 

Peter. I immediately told my master. — Up and away 
we rode into the forest of Haslach. And it was curious, 
that while we were riding along that night, a shepherd was 
watching, and five wolves fell upon the flock and attacked 
them stoutly. Then my master laughed, and said " Good 
luck to us all, dear comrades, both to you and us !" And the 
good omen overjoyed us. Just then Weislingen came riding 
towards us with four attendants— 

Maria. How my heart beats ! 

Peter. My comrade and T, as our master had commanded^ 
threw ourselves suddenly on him, and clung to him as if we had 
grown together, so that he could not move, while my mastei 
and Hans fell upon the servants, and overpowered them. 
They were all taken, except one who escaped. 

Elizabeth. I am curious to see him. Will he arrive soon? 

Peter. They are riding through the valley, and ^^^iU be 
bei e in a quarter of an hour. 

Maria. He is no doubt cast down and dejected? 

Peter. He looks gloomy enough. 

jy^ABiA. It will grieve me to see his distress ! 

2 E 



[act !• 

Elizabeth. O ! I must get food ready. You are no doubt 
all hungry? 

Peter. Hungry enough, in truth. 

Elizabeth {to Maria). Take the cellar keys and bring the 
best wine. They have deserved it. \_Exit Elizabeth. 

Chakles. I'll go too, aunt. 

Makia. Come then, boy. [_Exeunt Chahlej? ^nd Maria^ 

Peter. He'll never be his father, else he would have gone 
with me to the stable. 

Enter Goetz, Wetslingeh", Hans, and other Troopers. 

GoETZ {laying his helmet and sword on a table). Unbuckle 
my armour, and give me my doublet. Ease will refresh me. 
Brother Martin, thou said'st truly. You have kept us long 
on the watch, Weislingen! 

[Weislingen paces up and down in silence. 

GoETZ. Be of good cheer! Come, unarm yourself! 
Where are your clothes ? I hope nothing has been lost. 
( To the attendants.) Go, ask his servants ; open the baggage, and 
see that nothing is missing. Or I can lend you some of mine. 

Weislingen. Let me remain as I am — it is all one. 

Goetz. I can give you a handsome doublet, but it is only 
of linen ; it has grown too tight for me. I wore it at the 
marriage of my Lord the Palsgrave, w^hen your bishop was 
so incensed at me. About a fortnight before I had sunk two 
of his vessels upon the Maine — I was going up stairs in the 
Stag at Heidelberg, with Franz von Sickingen. Before you 
get quite to the top, there is p landing-place with iron rails — 
there stood the bishop, and gave hishand to Franz as he passed, 
and to me also as I followed close behind him. I laughed in 
my sleeve, and went to the Landgrave of Hanau, who was 
always a kind friend to me, and said, " The bishop has given 
me his hand, but I'll wager he did not know me." The 
bishop heard me, for I was speaking loud on purpose. He 
came to us angrily, and said, " True, I gave thee my hand, 
because I knew thee not." To which I answered, I know 
that, my lord ; and so here you have your shake of the hand 
back again !" The manikin grew red as a Turkey cock with 
spite, and he ran up into the room and compLuned to the 
Palsgrave Lewis and the Prince of Nassau. We have laughed 
over the scene again and again. 

Weislingen. I wish you would leave me to myself. 

SC 111.] 



GoETZ. Why so ? I entreat you be of good cheer. You 
are my prisoner, but I will not abuse my power. 

Weislingen. I have no fear of that. That is your duty 
as a knight. 

GoETZ. And you know how sacred it is to me. 
Weislingen. I am your prisoner — the rest matters not. 
GoETZ. You should not say so. Had you been taken by 
a prince, fettered and cast into a dungeon, your gaoler 
directed to drive sleep from your eyes — 

Enter Servants with clothes, Weislingen unarms 
himself. Enter Charles. 
Charles. Good morrow, papa ! 

Goetz {kisses him). Good morrow, boy ! How have you 
been this long time? 

Charles. Very well, father ! Aunt says I am a good boy. 
GoETZ. Does she.^ 

Charles. Have you brought me anything ? 
GoETZ. Nothing this time. 
Charles. I have learned a great deal. 
GoETZ. Aye! 

Charles. Shall I tell you about the good child? 
GoETZ. After dinner. 
Charles. I know something else, too. 
Goetz. What may that be ? 

Charles. "Jaxthausen is a village and castle on the 
Jaxt, which has appertained in property and heritage for two 
hundred years to the Lords of Berlichingen " 

Goetz. Do you know the Lord of Berlichingen? (Charles 
stares at him. Aside) His learning is so abstruse that he 
does not know his own father. To whom does Jaxthausen 
belong ? 

Charles. *' Jaxthausen is a village and castle upon the 

Goetz. I did not ask that. I knew every path, pass, and 
ford about the place, before ever I knew the name of the 
village, castle, or river. — Is your mother in the kitchen ? 

Charles. Yes, papa! They are cooking a lamb and 

Goetz. Do you know that too. Jack Turnspit ? 
Charles. And mv aunt is roasting an apple for mo ta 
eat after dinner*— 

2 E 2 



GoETZ, Can't you eat it raw ? 
Charles. It tastes better roasted. 

GoETZ. You must have a tit bit, must you? — ^WeisL'iirgeii, 
I will be with you immediately. I must go and see my wife* 
— Come, Charles ! 

Charles. Who is that man ? 

GoETZ. Bid him welcome. Tell him to be merry. 

Charles. There's my hand for you, man ! Be merry— 
for the dinner will soon be ready. 

Weislingen (^Takes up the child and kisses him), Happy 
boy ! that knowest no worse evil than the delay of dinner. 
May you live to have much joy in your son, Berlichingcn ! 

GoETZ. Where there is most light the shades are deepest. 
Yet I thank God for him. We'll see what they are about. 

\_JSxit with Charles and Servants* 

Weislingen. O that I could but wake and find this all 
a dream ^ In the power of Berlichingcn I — from whom I 
had scarcely detached myself — whose remembrance I shunned 
like fire — v/hom I hoped to overpower! and he still the 
old true-hearted Goetz ! Gracious God ! what will be the 
end of it ? O Adelbert ! Led back to the very hall where 
we played as children ; when thou didst love and prize 
him as thy soul ! Who can know him and hate him ? 
Alas ! I am so thoroughly insignificant here. Happy days ! 
ye are gone. There, in his chair by the chimney, sat old 
Berlichingcn, while we played around him, and loved each 
other like cherubs ! How anxious the bishop and all my 
friends will be. Well, the whole country will sympathize 
with my misfortune. But what avails it? Can they give 
me the peace after which I strive ? 

He-enter Goetz with wine and gohlets, 
Goetz. We'll take a glass while dinner is preparing. 
Come, sit down — think yourself at home ! Fancy you've 
come once more to see Goetz. It is long since we have sat 
and emptied a flagon together. {Fills,) Come : a light 
heart ! 

Weislingen. Those times are gone by. 

Goetz. God forbid! To be sure, we shall hardly pass 
more pleasant days than those we spent together at the 
Margrave's court, when we were inseparable night and 

60. in. I 



day. I think with pleasure on my youth. Do you remember 
the scuffle I had with the Polander, whose pomaded and 
^^izzled hair I chanced to rub with my sleeve ? 

Weislingen. It was at table; and he struck at you , 
with a knife. 

GoETZ. I gave it him, however ; and you had a quarrel 
upon that account with his comrades. We always stuck 
together like brave fellows, and were the admiration of every 
one. {Fills ^ and hands to ^^i^jjiiUG'Ei^.) Castor and Pollux ! 
It used to rejoice my heart when the Margrave so called 

Weislingen. The bishop of Wurtzburg first gave us 
the name. 

GoETZ. That bishop was a learned man, and withal so 
kind and gentle. I shall remember as long as I live how he 
used to caress us, praise our friendship, and say : " Happy 
is the man who has an adopted brother for a friend." 

Weislingen. No more of that I 

GoETZ. Why not ? I know nothing more delightful after 
fatigue than to talk over old times. Indeed, when I recall 
to mind how we bore good and bad fortme together, and 
were all in all to each other, and how I tho' ight this was to 
continue for ever. Was not that my sole o )mfort when my 
hand was shot away at Landshut, and you r ursed and tended 
me like a brother ? I hoped Adelbert wouL I in future be my 
right hand. And now 

Weislingen. Alas ! 

GoETZ. Hadst thou but listened to me when I begged thee 
to go with me to Brabant, all would have been well. But then 
that unhappy turn for court- dangling seized thee, and thy 
coquetting and flirting with the women. I always told thee, 
when thou wouldst mix with these lounging, vain court 
sycophants, and entertain them with gossip about unlucky 
matches and seduced girls, scandal about absent friends, and 
all such trash as they take interest in. — I always said, 
Adelbert, thou wi^t become a rogue ! 

Weislingen. To what purpose is all this ? 

GoETZ. ^Vould \o God I could forget it, or that it were 
otherwise ! Art thuu not free and nobly born as any in Ger- 
many ; independent, subject to the emperor alone ; and dost 
thou crouch among vassals? What is the bishop to thee? 



[act I. 

Granted, "he is thy neighbour, and can do thee a shre^vd turn; 
hast thou not power and friends to requite him in kind? 
Art thou ignorant of the dignity of a free knight, who 
depends only upon God, the emperor, Lnd himself, that thou 
degradest thyself to be the courtier of a stubborn, jealous 
priest ? 

Weislingen. Let me speak ! 
GoETZ. What hast thou to say ? 

Weislingen. You look upon the princes as the wolf 
upon the shepherd. And can you blame them for defending 
their territories and property ? Are they a moment secure 
from the unruly knights, who plunder their vassais even 
upon the high-roads, and sack their castles and villages: 
Upon the other hand, our country's enemies threaten to over- 
run the lands of our beloved emperor, yet, while he needs the 
princes' assistance, they can scarce defend their own lives ; 
is it not our good genius which at this moment leads them 
to devise means of procuring peace for Germany, of securing 
the administration of justice, and giving to great and small the 
blessings of quiet ? And can you blame us, Berlichengen, for 
securing the protection of the powerful princes, our neigh- 
bours, whose assistance is at hand, rather than relying on 
that of the emperor, who is so far removed from us, and is 
hardly able to protect himself? 

GoETZ. Yes, yes, I understand you. Weislingen, were 
the princes as you paint them, we should all have what we 
want. Peace and quiet ! No doubt ! Every bird of prey natu- 
rally likes to eat its plunder undisturbed. The general weal ! 
If they would but take the trouble to study that. And they 
trifle with the emperor shamefully. Every day some new 
tinker or other comes to give his opinion. The emperor 
means well, and would gladly put things to rights ; but 
because he happens to understand a thing readily, and by a 
single word, can put a thousand hands into motion, he thinks 
everything will be as speedily and as easily accomplished. 
Ordir^ance upon ordinance is promulgated, each nullifying 
the last, while the princes obey only those which serve their 
own interest, and prate of peace and security of the empire,, 
while they are treading under foot their weaker neighbours* 
T will be sworn, many a one thanks God in his heart that the 
Turk keeps the emperor fully employed ! 

»C. III.] 



Weislingen. You view things your own way. 

GoETZ. So does every one. The question is, which is 
the right way to view them ? And your plans at least shun 
the day. 

Weislingen. You may say what you will ; I am your 

Goetz. If your conscience is free, so are you. How was 
it with the general tranquillity ? I remember going as a boy 
of sixteen with the Margrave to the Imperial Diet. What 
harangues the princes made ! And the clergy were the most 
vociferous of all. Your bishop thundered into the emperor's 
ears his regard for justice, till one thought it had become part 
and parcel of his being. And now he has imprisoned a page 
of mine, at a time when our quarrels were all accommo- 
dated, and I had buried them in oblivion. Is not all settled 
between us ? What does he want with the boy ? 

Weislingen. It was done without his knowledge. 

GoETZ. Then why does he not release him ^ 

Weislingen. He did not conduct himself as he ought. 

GoETZ. Not conduct himself as he ought ? By my honour, 
he performed his duty, as surely as he has been imprisoned 
both with your knowledge and the bishop's ! Do you think 
I am come into the world this very day, that I cannot see 
what all this means ? 

Weislingen. You are suspicious, and do us wrong. 

Goetz. Weislingen, shall I deal openly with you ? In- 
considerable as I am, I am a thorn in your side, and Selbitz 
and Sickingen are no less so, because we are firmly resolved 
to die sooner than to thank any one but God for the air 
we breathe, or pay homage to any one but the emperor. 
This is why they worry me in every possible way, blacken 
my character with the emperor, and among my friends and 
neighbours, and spy about for advantage over me. They 
would have me out of the way at any price ; that was your 
reason for imprisoning the page whom you knew I had 
dispatched for intelligence : and now you say he did not con- 
duct himself as he should do, because he would not betray 
my secrets. And you, Weislingen, are their tool ! 

Weislingen. Berlichingen ! 

Goetz. Not a word more. I am an enemy to long 



[act I, 

explanations ; they deceive either the maker or the hearer, 
and generally both. 

Enter Chakles. 
Charles. Dinner is ready, father ! 

GoETZ. Good news ! Come, I hope the company of my 
women folk will amnse you. You always liked the girls. 
Aye, aye, they can tell many pretty stories about you. Come ! 


SCENE IV. The Bishop ofBamherg's Palace, 

The Bishop, ifAe Abbot of Fidda, Oleabtus, Ltebtbatjt, aiid 
CoxJBTiEBS at table. The dessert and wine before them. 

Bishop. Are there many of the German nobility studying 
at Bologna ? 

Olearius. Both nobles and citizens; and, I do not exag- 
gerate, in saying that they acquire the most brilliant repu- 
tation. It is a proverb in the university : — As studious as a 
German noble." For while the citizens display a laudable 
diligence, in order to compensate by learning for their want 
of birth, the nobles strive, with praiseworthy emulation, to 
enhance their ancestral dignity by superior attainments. 

Abbot. Indeed ! 

LiEBTRAUT. What may one not live to hear. We live 
and learn, as the proverb says. " As studious as a German 
noble." I never heard that before. 

Oleabiits. Yes, they are the admiration of the whole 
university. Some of the oldest and most learned will soon 
be coming back with their doctor's degree. The emperor 
wdll doubtless be happy to entrust to them the highest offices. 

Bishop. He cannot fail to do so. 

Abbot. Do you know, for instance, a young man — a 

Olearius. There are many Hessians with us. 

Abbot. His name is is Does nobody remember 

it? His mother was a Von Oh! his father had but 

one eye, and was a marshal 

LiEBTRAUT. Von Wildcnholz ! 

Abbot. Right. Von Wildenholz. 

Olearius. I know him well. A young man of great 

sc. IV.] 



abilities. He is particularly esteemed for his talent in dispu- 

Abbot. He has that from his mother. 

LiEBTRAUT. Yes ; but his father Avould never praise her 
for that quality. 

Bishop. How call you the emperor who wrote your 
Corpus Juris? 

Olearius. Justinian. 

Bishop. A worthy prince : — ^here's to his memory ! 
Olearius. To his memory! {They drink.) 
Abbot. That must be a fine book. 

Olearius. It may be called a book of books ; a digest of 
all laws ; there you find the sentence ready for every case, and 
where the text is antiquated or obscure, the deficiency is 
supplied by notes, with which the most learned men have 
enriched this truly admirable work. 

Abbot. A digest of all laws ! — Indeed ! — ^Then the ten 
commandments must be in it. 

Olearius. Implicite ; not explicite. 

Abbot. That's what I mean; plainly set do^vn, without 
any explication. 

Bishop. But the best is, you tell us that a state can be 
maintained in the most perfect tranquillity and subordination^ 
by receiving and rightly following that statute-book. 

Olearius. Doubtless. 

Bishop. All doctors of laws! {They drinh) 

Olearius. I'll tell them of this abroad. {They d7'ink,) 
Would to heaven that men thought thus in my country! 

Abbot. Whence come you, most learned sir? 

Olearius. From Frankfort, at your eminence's service I 

Bishop. You gentlemen of the law, then, are not heJd in 
high estimation there ? — How comes that ? 

Olearius. It is strange enough — when I last went there 
to collect my father's effects, the mob almost stoned me, when 
they heard I was a lawyer. 

Abbot. God bless me ! 

Olearius. It is because their tribunal, which they hold 
in great respect, is composed of people totalVy ignorant 
of the Roman law. An intimate acquaintance with the 
internal condition of the town, and also of its foreign 
relations, acquired through age and experience, is deemed a 



[act I. 

sufficient qualification. They decide according to certain 
established edicts of their own, and some old customs recog* 
nised in the city and neighbourhood. 
Abbot. That's very right. 

Oleabius. But far from sufficient. The life of man is 
short, and in one generation cases of every description can- 
not occur; our statute-book is a collection of precedents, 
furnished by the experience of many centuries. Besides, the 
wills and opinions of men are variable; one man deems right 
to-day, what another disapproves to-morrow ; and confusion 
and injustice are the inevitable results. Law determines 
absolutely, and its decrees are immutable. 

Abbot. That's certainly better. 

Oleabius. But the common people won't acknowledge 
that ; and, eager as they are after novelty, they hate any in- 
novation in their laws, which leads them out of the beaten 
track, be it ever so much for the better. They hate a jurist as 
if he were a cut-purse or a subverter of the state, and become 
furious, if one attempts to settle among them. 

LiEBTBAUT. You comc from Frankfort? — I know the 
place well — vre tasted your good cheer at the emperor's 
coronation. You say your name is Olearius — I know no one 
in the tow^n of your name. 

Oleabius. My father's name was Oilman — But after the 
example, and with the advice of many jurists, I have latinised 
the name to Olearius for the decoration of the title-page of my 
legal treatises. 

LiEBTBAUT. You did well to translate yourself: a prophet 
is not honoured in his own country — your books if written in 
German might have shared the same fate. 

Oleabius. That was not the reason. 

LiEBTBAUT. All things have two reasons. 

Abbot. A prophet is not honoured in his own country. 

LiEBTBAUT. But do you know why, most reverend sir ? 

Abbot. Because he was born and bred there. 

LiEBTBAUT. Well, that may be one reason. The other isi, 
because, upon a nearer acquaintance with these gentlemen, the 
halo of p-lory and honour shed around them by the distant 
haze totally disappears; they are then seen to be nothing 
more than tiny rushlights ! 

SC, IV,] 



Olea-Hius. It seems you are placed here to tell pleasant 

LiEBTEAUT. As I havo wit enough to discover theni„ I do 
not lack courage to utter them. 

Oleariits. Yet you lack the art of applying them welL 

LiEBTRAUT. It is uo matter where you place a cuppiug- 
glass, provided it draws blood. 

Olearius. Buffoons are known by their dress, and no 
one takes offence at their scurvy jests. Let me advice you as 
a precaution to bear the badge of your order — a cap and bells ! 

LiEBTRAUT. Where did you take your degree? I only 
ask, so that, should I ever take a fancy to a fool's cap, I could 
at once go to the right shop, 

Olearius. You carry face enough. 

LiEBTRAUT. And you paunch. Bi sjlot and Abbot 


Bishop. Not so warm, gentlemen ! — Some other subject. 
At table all should be fair and quiet. Choose another subject, 

LiEBTRAUT. Opposite Frankfort lies a village, called 
Sachsenhausen — 

Olearius {to the Bishop). What news of the Turkish 
expedition, your excellency ? 

Bishop. The emperor has most at heart, first of all to 
restore peace to the empire, put an end to feuds, and secure 
the strict administration of justice : then according to report^ 
he vml go in person against the enemies of his country and 
of Christendom. At present internal dissensions give hinx 
enough to do ; and the empire, despite forty years of peace, 
is one scene of murder. Franconia, Swabia, the Upper Rhine, 
and the surrounding countries are laid waste by presumptuous 
and reckless knights. — And here, at Bamberg, Sickingen, Sel- 
bitz with one leg, and Goetz with the iron hand, scoff at the 
imperial authority. 

Abbot. If his Majesty does not exert himself, these 
fellows will at last thrust us into sacks. 

LiEBTRAUT. He would be a sturdy fellow indeed who 
should thrust the wine-butt of Fulda into a sack ! 

Bishop. Goetz especially has been for many years my 
mortal foe, and annoys me beyond description. But it will 
!iot last long, I hope. The emperor holds his court at 



[ACT I. 

Augsburg. We have taken our measures, and cannoi faiJ of 
success. — Doctor, do you know Adelbert von Weislingen r 
Oleakius. No, your eminence. 

Bishop. If yoa stay till nis arrival, you will have the 
pleasure of seeing a most noble, accomplished, and gallant 

Oleariiis. He must be an excellent man indeed to 
deserve such praises from such a mouth. 

LiEBTRAUT. And yet he was not bred at any university. 

Bishop. We know that. {The attendants throng to the * 
toindovj,) What's the matter ? 

Attendant. Farber, Weislingen' s servant, is riding in at 
the Castle -gate. 

Bishop. See what he brings. He most likely comes to 
announce his master. 

{^Exit LiEBTRAUT — They stand up and drmh) 
LiEBTRAUT re-enters. 

Bishop. What news ? 

LiEBTRAUT. I wish another had to tell it — ^Weislingen is 
a prisoner ! 

Bishop. What ? 

LiEBTRAUT. Berlichingen has seized him and three 
troopers near Haslach — One is escaped to tell you. 
Abbot. A Job's messenger ! 
Olearius. I grieve from my heart. 

Bishop. I will see the servant; bring him up~I will 
speak with him myself. Conduct him into my cabinet. 

\_Exit Bishop. 

Abbot {sitting down). Another draught, however. 

[^The Servants Jill round, 

Olearius. Will not your reverence take a tm-n in the 
garden ? " Post coenam stabis, sen passus mille meabis." 

LiEBTRAUT, In truth, sitting is unhealthy for you. You 
might get an apoplexy. {The Abbot rises. Aside,) Let mo 
but one 3 get him out of doors, I will give him exercise 
enough : f^Exeiint, 

sc. V-] 



SCENE y. Jaxthausen. 

Maeia, Weislingen. 

Maria. You love me, you say. I willingly believe it, and 
hope to be bappy with you, and to make you happy 

Weislingen. I feel nothing but that I am entirely 
thine. {Embraces her.) 

Maria. Softly ! — I gave you one kiss for earnest, but 
you must not take possession of what is only yours con- 

Weislingen. You are too strict, Maria ! Innocent love 
is pleasing in the sight of Heaven, instead of giving oj6Pence. 

Maria. It may be so. But I think differently ; for I 
have been taught that caresses are, like fetters, strong through 
their union, and that maidens, when they love, are weaker 
than Sampson after the loss of his locks. 

Weislingen. Who taught you so? 

Mai^ia. The abbess of my convent. Till my sixteenth 
year I was with her — and it is only with you that I enjoy 
happiness like that her company afforded me. She had 

loved, and could tell She had a most affectionate hecci't. 

Oh ! she was an excellent w oman ! 

Weislingen. Then you resemble her. ( Takes her hand,) 
What will become of Tiie when I am compelled to leave you r 

Maria {withdrawing her hand.) You will feel some regret, 
I hope, for I know what my feelings wiU be. But you must 
away ! 

Weislingen. I know it, dearest ! and I will — for well I 
feel what happiness I shall purchase by this sacrifice ! Now, 
blessed be your brother, and the day on which he rode out to 
capture me ! 

Maria. His heart was full of hope for you and himself. 
Farewell ! he said, at his departure, I go to recover my friend. 

Weislingen. That he has done. Would that I had 
studied the arrangement and security of my property, instead 
of neglecting it, and dallying at that worthless coui't !— then 
couldst thou have been instantly mine. 

Maria. Even delay has its pleasures. 

Weislingen. Say not so, Maria, else I shall fear that thy 



[act I. 

heart is less warm than mine. True, I deserve punisli- 
ment, but what hopes will brighten every step of my journey. 
To be wholly thine, to live only for thee- and thy circle of 
friends — far removed from the world, in the enjoyment of all 
the raptures which two hearts can mutually bestow. What 
is the favour of princes, what the applause of the universe, 
to such simple, yet unequalled felicity? Many have been my 
hopes and wishes ; but this happiness surpasses them all. 
Enter Goetz. 

GoETZ. Your page has returned. He can scarcely utter 
a word for hunger and fatigue. My wife has ordered hina 
some refreshment. Thus much I have gathered : the bishop 
will not give up my page — imperial commissioners are to be 
appointed, and a day named, upon which the matter may be 
adjusted. Be that as it may, Adelbert, you are free. Pledge 
me but your hand that you will for the future give neither 
open nor secret assistance to my enemies. 

Weislingen. Here I grasp thy hand. From this 
moment be our friendship and confidence, firm and unalter- 
able as a primary law of nature ! Let me take this hand 
also {takes Mahia's hand), and with it the possession of this 
most noble lady. 

Goetz. May I say yes for you ? 

Maria {timidly). If — if it is your wish 

Goetz. Happily our wishes do not differ on this point. 
Thou need'st not blush — the glance of thine eye betrays thee. 
"Well then, Weislingen, join hands, and I say Amen! My 
friend and brother ! I thank thee, sister ; thou canst do 
more than spin flax, for thou hast drawn a thread which can 
fetter this wandering bird of paradise. Yet you look not 
quite at your ease, Adelbert. What troubles you ? /am per- 
fectly happy ! What I but hoped in a dream, I now see with 
my eyes, and feel as though I were still dreaming. Now my 
dream is explained. I thought last night that, in token of 
reconciliation, I gave you this iron hand, and that you held 
it so fast that it broke away from my arm ; I started, and 
awoke. Had I but drejimed a little longer, I should have 
seen how you gave me a new living hand. You must 
away this instant, to put your castle and property in order. 
That cursed court has made you neglect both. I must 
ca^ my v/ife. — Elizabeth ! 

^C. V.J 


Maeta. How overjoyed my brother is ! 

Weislingen. Yet I am still more so. 

GoETZ {to Maria). You will have a pleasant residence. 

Maria. Franconia is a fine country. 

Weislingen. And I may venture to say that my castle 
lies in the most fertile and delicious part of it. 

GoETZ. That you may, and I can confirm it. Look 
3'ou, here flows the Maine, around a hill clothed with corn- 
fields and vineyards, its top crowned with a Gothic castle ; 
then the river makes a sharp tm-n, and glides round behind 
the rock on which the castle is built. The windows of the 
great hall look perpendicularly dowTi upon the river, and 
command a prospect of many miles in extent. 

£!nter Elizabeth. 

Elizabeth. What would'st thou ? 

GoETZ. You too must give your hand, and say, God bless 
you ! They are a pair. 
Elizabeth. So soon ? 
GoETZ. But not unexpectedly. 

Elizabeth. May you ever adore her as ardently as 
while you sought her hand. And then, as your love, so be 
your happiness ! 

Weislingen. Amen! I seek no happiness but under 
this condition. 

GoETZ. The bridegroom, my love, must leave us for 
avrhiie ; for this great change will involve many smaller ones. 
He must first withdraw himself from the bishop's court, in 
order that their friendship may gradually cool. Then he 
must rescue his property from the hands of selfish stewards, 
and — But come, sister; come, Elizabeth ; let us leave him; 
his page has no doubt private messages for him. 

Weislingen. Nothing but what you may hear. 

GoETZ. 'Tis needless. Franconians and Swabians ! Ye 
are now more closely united than ever. Now we shall be 
able to keep the princes in check. 

[Exeimt GoETZ, Elizabeth, Maria. 

Weislingen (alone), God in heaven! And canst thou 
have reserved such happiness for one so unworthy ? It is too 
much for my heart. How meanly I depended upon wretched 
fools, whom I thought I was governing, upon the smile of 
princ6S, upon the h/^mage of those around ms I Goetz, my 



[act I. 

faithful Goetz, thou hast restored me to myself, and thou, 
Maria, hast completed my reformation. I feel free, as if 
brought from a dungeon into the open air. Bamberg will I 
never see more — will snap all the shameful bon{^s that have 
held me beneath myself. My heart expands, and never more 
will I degrade myself by struggling for a greatnesr, that is 
denied me. He alone is great and happy w^ho fills his own 
station of independence, and has neither to command nor to 

E?it€7* Francis. 

Francis. God save you, noble sir ! I bring you so many 
salutations that I know not where to begin. Bamberg, and 
ten miles round, cry with a thousand voices, God save you. 

Weislingen. Welcome, Francis ! Bring'st thou aught 
else ? 

Francis. You are held in such consideration at com-t 
that it cannot be expressed. 

Weislingen. That will not last long. 

Francis. As long as you live ; and after your death it 
will shine with more lustre than the brazen characters on a 
monument. How they took your misfortune to heart ! 

Weislingen. And what said the bishop ? 

Francis. His eager curiosity poured out question upon 
question, without giving me time to answer. He knew of 
your accident already ; for Farber, who escaped from Has- 
lach, had brought him the tidings. But he wished to hear 
every particular. He asked so anxiously whether you were 
wounded. I told him you were whole, from the hair of 
your head to the nail of your little toe. 

Weislingen. And what said he to the proposals ? 

Frai>c s. PTe was ready at first to give up the page and a 
ransom to boot for your liberty. But when he heard you 
were to be dismissed without ransom, and merely to give your 
parole that the boy should be set fi'ee. he was for putting off 
Berlichingen with some pretence. He charged me with a 
thousand messages to you, more than I can ever utter. 
Low he harangued ! It was a long sermon upon the text, 
" I cannot live without Weislingen 

Weislingen. He must learn to do so. 

Francis. What mean you? He said ''Bid him hasteaj 
all the court waits for him." 

sc. v.] 



Weislittgen. Let them wait on. I shall not go to 

Francis. Not go to court! My gracious lord, how 
comes that? If you knew what I knew; could you but 
dream what I have seen 

Weislingen. What ails thee ? 

Fkancis. The bare remembrance takes away my senses. 
Bamberg is no longer Bamberg. An angel of heaven, in 
semblance of woman, has taken up her abode there, and has 
made it a paradise. 

Weislingen. Is that all ? 

Francis. May I become a shaven friar, if the first glimpse 
of her does not drive you frantic ! 
Weisli^jgen. "Who is it, then? 
Francis. Adelaide von Walldorf. 

Weislingen. Indeed ! I have heard much of her beauty. 

Francis. Heard ! You might as well say I have seen 
music. So far is the tongue from being able to rehearse the 
slightest particle of her beauty, that the very eye which, 
beholds her cannot drink it all in. 

Weislingen. You are mad. 

Francis. That may well be. The last time I was in her 
company I had no more command over my senses than if I had 
been drunk, or, I may rather say, I felt like a glorified saint 
enjoying the angelic vision ! All my senses exalted, more 
lively and more perfect than ever, yet not one at its owner'^ 

Weislingen. That is strange ! 

Francis. As I took leave of the bishop, she sat by him ; 
they were playing at chess. He was very gracious ; gave 
me his hand to kiss, and said much, of which I heard not a 
syllable, for I was looking on his fair antagonist. Her eye 
was fixed upon the board, as if meditating a bold move.~ 
Traces of attentive intelligence ground the mouth and cheek. 
— I could have wished to be the ivory king. The mixture of 
dignity and feeling on her brow — and the dazzling lustre of 

her face and neck, heightened by her raven tresses 

Weislingen. The theme has made you quite poetical, 
Francis. I feel at this moment what constitutes poetic 
inspiration — a heart altogether wrapt in one idea. As 
the bishop ended, and I made my obeisance, she looked u]) 

2 y 



' \0T I. ■ 

xind said, " Offer to your master the best wishes of an un- 
known. Tell him he must come soon. New friends await 
him ; he must not despise them, though he is already so rich 
in old ones." I would have answered, but the passage 
betwixt my heart and my tongue was closed, and I only 
bowed. I would have given all I had for permission to kiss 
but one of her fingers ! As I stood thus, the bishop let 
fall a pawn, and in stooping to pick it up, I touched the 
hem of her garment. Transport thrilled through my limbs, 
!ind I scarce know how I left the room. 

Weislingen. Is her husband at court ? 

Fkancis. She has been a widow these four months, and 
is residing at the court of Bamberg to divert her melancholy. 
You will see her ; and to meet her glance is to bask in the 
Ksunshine of spring. 

Weislingen. She would not make so strong an impres- 
sion on me. 

Francis. I hear you are as good as married. 

Weislingen. Would I were really so ! My gentle 
Maria will be the happiness of my life. The sweetness of her 
soul beams through her mild blue eyes, and, like an angel of 
innocence and love, she guides my heart to the paths of 
peace and felicity! Pack up, and then to my castle. I 
will not to Bamberg, though St. Bede came in person to fetch 
me. \^Exi( Weislingen. 

Fkancis {alone). Not to Bamberg ! Heavens forbid ! But 
let me hope the best. Maria is beautiful and amiable, and a 
prisoner or an invalid might easily fall in love with her. 
Her eyes beam with compassion and melancholy sympathy ; 

but in thine, Adelaide, is life, fire, spirit. I would 

I am a fool ; one glance from her has made me so. My 
master must to Bamberg, and I also, and either recover my 
senses or gaze them quite away. 


sc. I 




SCENE I. Bambekg. A Hall 

The Bishop and Adelaide {playing at chess), Liebtraux 
{with a guitar). Ladies awG? Courtiers {standing in groups), 

LiEBTRAUT {plays and sings). 
Armed with quiver and bow, 
With his torch all a glow, 
Young Cupid comes winging his flight. 
Courage glows in his eyes, 
As adown from the skies. 
He rushes, impatient for fight. 

Up! Up! 
On! On! 

Hark! The bright quiver rings! 
Hark! The rustle of wings! 
Ail hail to the delicate sprite I 

They welcome the urchin ; — 
Ah maidens, beware! 
He finds every bosom 
Unguarded and bare. 
In the light of his flambeau ' 
He kindles his darts ; — 
They fondle and hug him 
And press to their hearts. 

Adelaide, Your thoughts are not in your game. Check 
to the king ! 

Bishop. There is still a way of escape. 

Adelaide. You will not be able to hold out long. 
Check to the king! 

LiEBTRAUT. Were I a great prince, I would not play at 
this game, and would forbid it at court, and throughout the 
whole land. 

Adelaide. 'Tis indeed a touchstone of the brain. 
LiEBTRAUT, Not on that account I would rath(?r hear 




a fiineral bell, the cry of the ominous bird, the howling of 
that snarling watch-dog, conscience; rather would I hear 
these through the deepest sleep, than from bishops, knights, 
and such beasts, the eternal — Check to the king ! 

Bishop. Into whose head could such an idea enter? 

LiEBTKAUT. A man's, for example, endowed with a weak 
body and a strong conscience, which, for the most part, 
indeed, accompany each other. Chess is called a royal game, 
and is said to have been invented for a king, who rewarded 
the inventor with a mine of wealth. If this be so. I can picture 
him to myself. He was a minor, either in understanding 
or in years, under the guardianship of his mother or his 
wife ; had down upon his chin, and flaxen hair around his 
temples; was pliant as a willow-shoot, and liked to play 
at draughts with women, not from passion, God forbid! only 
for pastime. His tutor, too active for a scholar, too intract- 
able for a man of the world, invented the game, in usum 
Delphmi^ that was so homogeneous with his majesty — and 
so on. 

Adelaide. Checkmate! You should fill up the chasms 
in our histories, Liebtraut. [,They rise, 

LiEBTRAUT. To Supply those in our family registers 
would be more profitable. The merits of our ancestors being 
available for a common object with their portraits, namely, to 
cover the naked sides of our chambers and of our characters, 
one might turn such an occupation to good account. 

Bishop. He will not come, you say! 

Adelaide. I beseech you, banish him from your thoughts. 

Bishop. What can it mean? 

Liebtraut. What! The reasons may be told over like 
the beads of a rosary. He has been seized with a nt of com- 
punction, of which I could soon cure him. 

Bishop. Do so; ride to him instantly. 

Liebtraut. My commission 

Bishop. Shall be unlimited. Spare nothing to bring 
him back. 

Liebtraut. Mav I venture to use your name, gracious 

Adelaide. With discretion. 

Liebtraut. That's a vague commission. 

Adelaide. Do you kr.ow so little of me, or are you so 


young as not to understand in what tone you should speak of 
me to Weislingen? 

LiEBTRAUT. In the tone of a fowler's whistle, I think. 

Adelaide. You wdll never be reasonable. 

LiEBTRAUT. Does One ever become so, gracious lady ? 

Bishop. Go! Go! Take the best horse in my stable; 
choose your servants, and bring him hither. 

LiEBTRAUT. If I do iiot conjurc him hither, say that an 
old v/oman who charms warts and freckles knows more of 
sympathy than I. 

Bishop. Yet, what will it avail ? Berlichingen has 
wholly gained him over. He will no sooner be here than he 
will wish to return. 

LiEBTRAUT. He will wish it, doubtless ; but can he go ? 
A prince's squeeze of the hand and the smiles of a beauty, 
from these no Weislingen can tear himself away. I have 
the honour to take my leave. 

Bishop. A prosperous journey ! 

Adelaide. Adieu! [^Exit Liebtraut. 

l^isHOP. When he is once here, I must trust to you. 
Adelaide. Would you make me your lime-twig ? 
Bishop. By no means. 
Adelaide. Your call-bird then? 

Bishop. No ; that is Liebtraut's part. I beseech you 
do not refuse to do for me what no other can. 

Adelaide. We shall see. [^Exeunt 

SCENE II. Jaxthausen, A Hall {?i Goetz's Castle. 
Enter Goetz md Hans von Selbitz. 

Selbitz. Every one will applaud you for declaring feud 
against the Nurembergers. 

Goetz. It would have eaten my very heart away had I 
remained longer their debtor. It is clear that they betrayed 
my page to the Bamberger s. They shall have cause to 
remember me. 

Selbitz. They have an old grudge against you. 

Goetz. And I against them. I am glad they havt? 
begun the fray, 



Tactt 11. 

Selbitz. These free towns have always taken part with 
the priests. 

GoETZ. They have good reason. 

Seebitz. But we will cook their porridge for them ! 

GoETZ. I reckon npon yon. Would that the Burgomaster 
of Niirnberg, with his gold chain round his neck, fell in 
our way, Ave'd astonish him with all his cleverness. 

Selbitz. I hear Weislingen is again on your side. Does 
he really join in our league ? 

GoETZ. Not immediately. There are reasons Avhich pre- 
vent his openly giving us assistance ; but for the present it 
is quite enough that he is not against us. The priest with- 
out him is what the stole would be without the priest ! 

Selbitz. "When do we set forward? 

GoETZ. To-morrow or next day. There are merchants 
of Bamberg and Nm-emberg returning from the fair of Frank- 
fort — We may strike a good blow. 

Selbitz. Let us hope so! 

SCENE III. The Bishop's Palace at Bamherg. 

Adelaide and her Waiting-Maid. 

Adelaide. He is here, sayest thou? I can scarce 
believe it. 

Maid. Had I not seen him myself, I should have doubted 


Adelaide. The bishop should frame Liebtraut in gold 
for such a masterpiece of skill. 

Maid. I saw him as he was about to enter the palace. 
He w^as mounted on a grey charger. The horse started when 
he came on the bridge, and would not move forward. The 
populace thronged up the street to see him. They rejoiced 
at the delay of the unruly horse. He was greeted on all 
sides, and he thanked them gracefully all round. He sate 
the curvetting steed with an easy indifference, and by 
threats and soothing brought him to the gate, followed by 
Liebtraut and a few servants. 

Adelaide. What do you think of him ? 

Maid. I never saw a man w^ho pleased me so well. He 
is as like that portrait of tlie emperor, as if he were his .soj? 

50. lll.j 



{pointing to a j)icturc). His nose is somewhat smaller, 
but just such gentle light-brown eyes, just such fine light 
hair, and such a figure ! A half melancholy expression on 
his face, I know not how, but he pleased me so well. 

Adelaide. I am curious to see him. 

Maid. He w^ould be the husband for you I 

Adelaide. Foolish girl! 

Maid. Children and fools 

Enter Liebtraut. 

Now, gracious lady, what do 1 deserve? 

Adelaide. Horns from your wife! — for, judging from the 
present sample of yom' persuasive powers, you have certainly 
endangered the honour of many a worthy family. 

LiEBTKAUT. Not SO, be assured, gracious lady. 

Adelaide. How did you contrive to bring him? 

LiEBTKAUT. You kuow how they catch snipes, and 
why should I detail my little stratagems to you? — First, 
I pretended to have heard nothing, did not understand 
the reason of his behaviour, and put him upon the dis- 
advantage of telling me the whole story at length — ^then I 
saw the matter in quite a different light to what he did — 
could not find — could not see, and so forth — then I gossipped 
things great and small about Bamberg, and recalled to his 
memory certain old recollections; and when I had suc- 
ceeded in occupying his imagination, I knitted together 
many a broken association of ideas. He knew not what to 
say — felt a new attraction towards Bamberg— he would, and he 
would not. When I foimd him begin to weaver, and saw him 
too much occupied with his own feelings to suspect my 
sincerity, I threw over his h?ad a halter, woven of the three 
powerful cords, beauty, court-favcur, and flattery, and dragged 
him hither in triumph. 

Adelaide. What said you of me ? 

LiEBTRAXJT. The simple truth — that you were in per- 
plexity about your estates, and had hoped as he had so much 
influence with the emperor, all would be satisfactorily- 

Adelaide. 'Tis well. 

LiEBTSATJT. The bishop will introduce him to you. 
Adelaide. I expect them. \_Exit Liebtraut.] And 
v/ith such feelings have I seldom expected a visitor. 



[act II 

SCENE IV. The Spessart. 

Enter Selbitz, Goetz, and George in the armour 
and dress of a trooper. 

Goetz. So, thou didst not find him, George? 

George. He had ridden to Bamberg the day before, with 
Liebtraut and two servants. 

Goetz. I cannot understand what this means. 

Selbitz. I see it well— your reconciliation was almost 
too speedy to be lasting — Liebtraut is a cunning fellow, and 
has no doubt inveigled him over. 

Goetz. Think' st thou he will become a traitor: 

Selbitz. The first step is taken. 

Goetz. I will never believe it. Who knows what he may 
have to do at court~his afiairs are still unarranged. Let us 
hope for the best. 

Selbitz. Would to Heaven he were deserving of your good 
opinion, and have acted for the best ! 

Goetz. A thought strikes me !— We w^ill disguise George 
in the spoils of the Bamberg trooper, and furnish him with 
the password — ^he may then ride to Bamberg, and see how 
matters stand. 

George. I have long wished to do so. 

Goetz It is thy first expedition. Be careful, boy; I 
should be sorry if ill befel thee. 

George. Never fear. I care not how many of them crawl 
about me ; I think no more of them than of rats and mice. 


SCENE y. The Bishop's Palace. His Cabinet. 
The Bishop and Wei sling en. 

Bishop. Then thou wilt stay no longer ? 

Weislingen. You w ould not have me break my oath. • 

Bishop. I could have wished thou hadst not sworn it. — 
What evil spirit possessed thee ? — Could I not have procured 
thy release without that ? Is my influence so small in the 
imperial court? 

Weislingen. The thing is done ! — excuse it as you can. 

Bishop. I cannot see that there was the least necessity 
for taking such a step — ^To renounce me ? — Were there not 
a thousand other ways of procuring thy freedom? — ^Had 


not his page? And would I not have given gold enough 
to boot? and thus satisfied Berlichingen. Our operations 

against him and his confederates could have gone on But, 

alas ! I do not reflect that I am talking to his friend, who has 
joined him against me, and can easily counterwork the mines 
he himself has dug. 

Weislingen. My gracious lord 

Bishop. And yet — when I again look on thy face, again 
hear thy voice — it is impossible — impossible ! 

Weislingen. Farewell, good my lord! 

Bishop. I give thee my blessing — formerly when we 
parted, I was wont to say "Till we meet again!" — Now 
Heaven grant we meet no more ! 

Weislingen. Things may alter. 

Bishop. Perhaps I may live to see thee appear as an 
enemy before my walls, carrying havoc through the fertile 
plains which now owe their flourishing condition to thee. 

W'eislingen. Never, my gracious lord! 

Bishop. You cannot say so. My temporal neighbours all 

have a grudge against me — but while thou wert mine Go, 

Weislingen ! — I have no more to say — Thou hast undone much 
— Go— 

Weislingen. I know not what to answer. [jE!reV Bishop. 

Enter Fra^ncis. 
Francis. The Lady Adelaide expects you. She is not 
well — but she will not let you depart without bidding her adieu. 
Weislingen. Come. 
Francis. Do we go then for certain ? 
Weislingen. This very night. 

Francis. I feel as if I were about to leave the world — 
Weislingen. I too, and as if besides I knew not whither 
to go. 

SCENE VI. Adelaide's Apartment. 
ArELAiDE and Waiting-Maid. 
Maid. You are pale, gracious lady ! 

Adelaide. I love him not, yet I wish him to stay — for 
I am fond of his company, thuugh I should dislike him for 
my husband. 

Maid. Does your ladyship think he will go ? 



[act II. 

Adelaide. He is even now bidding the bishop farewell. 
Maid. He has yet a severe struggle to undergo. 
Adelaide. What meanest thou r 

Maid. Why do you ask, gracious lady ? The barb'd hook 
is in his heart — ere he tear it away he must bleed to death. 
Enter Weislingen. 

Weislixgen. You are not well, gracious lady ! 

Adelaide. That must be indifferent to you — you leave us, 
leave us forever: what matters it to you whether we live or die : 

W^EisLiNGEN. You do niG injustice. 

Adelaide. I judge you as you appear. 

Weislingen". Appearances are deceitful. 

Adelaide. Then you are a cameleon. 

Wex^lingen. Could you but see my heart — 

Adelai;>e. I should see fine things there. 

WeislinG::!!^". Undoubtedly ! — You would find your ovv^n 
image — 

Adelaide. Thrust into some dark corner, with the pictures 
of defunct ancestors ! I beseech you, Weislingen, consider 
with whom you speak — false words are of value only when 
they serve to veil our actions — a discovered masquerader 
plays a pitiful part. You do not disown yom* deeds, yet your 
words belie them ; what are we to think of you ? 

Weislingea'. What yoii will — lam so agonised at re- 
flecting on what I am, that I little reck for what I am taken. 

Adelaide. You came to say farewell. 

Weislingen. Permit me to kiss your hand, and I will 

say adieu ! You remind me — I did not think — but I am 

troublesome — 

Adelaide. You misinterpret me : Since you will depart, 
I only wished to assist your resolution. 

Weislingen. O say rather, I must ! — ^^vere I not com- 
pelled by my knightly word — my solemn engagement — 

Adelaide. Go to ! Talk of that to maidens who read 
the tale of Theuerdanck, and wish that they had such a hus- 
band. — Knightly word ! — ^Nonsense ! 

Weislingen. You do not think so ? 

Adelaide. On my honour, you are dissembling. What 
have you promised ? and to whom ? You have pledged your 
alliance to a traitor to the emperor, at the very moment when 
he incurred the ban of the empire by taking you prisoner 

.sc. YI.] 


Sucli an agreement is no more binding than an extorted, unjust 
oath. And do not our la^YS release you from such oaths? 
Go, tell that to children, who believe in Riibezahl. There 
is something behind all this. — To become an enemy of the 
empire — a disturber of public happiness and tranquillity, an 
enemy of the emperor, the associate of a robber! — Thou, 
Weislingen, with thy gentle soul ! 

Weislingen. Did but you know him. 

Adelaide. I would deal justly with Goetz. He has n 
lofty indomitable spirit, and woe to thee, therefore, Weislingen. 
Go, and persuade thyself thou art his companion : Go, and 
receive his commands : Thou art courteous, gentle 

Weislingen. And he too. 

Adelaide. But thou art yielding, and he is stubborn. 
Imperceptibly will he draw thee on. Thou wilt become the 
slave of a baron ; thou that mightest command princes ! — 
Yet it is cruel to make you discontented with your future 

Weislingen. Did you but know what kindness he 
showed me. 

Adelaide. Kindness ! — Do you make such a merit of 
that ? It was his duty. And what would you have lost had 
he acted otherwise. I would rather he had done so. An 
overbearing man like — 

Weislingen. You speak of your enemy. 

Adelaide. I speak for your freedom ; yet I know not 
why I should take so much interest in it. Farewell ! 

Weislingi^n. Permit :ne, but a moment. {Takes Iter 
hand. A 'pause ^ 

Adelaide. Have you aught to say ? 

Weislingen. I must hence. 

Adelaide. Then go. 

Weislingen. Gracious lady, I cannot. 

Adelaide. You must. 

Weislingen. And is this your parting look 
Adelaide. Go, I am unwell, very inopportunely. 
Weislingen. Look not on me thus ! 
Adelaide. Wilt thou be our enemy, and yet have us- 
irmile upon thee — go ! 

Weislingen. Adelaide! 
A E LAiDE. I hate thee I 




Enter Francis. 
Feancis. Xoble sir, the bishop inquires for yoiu 
Adelaide. Go ! go ! 
Francis. He begs you to come instantly. 
Adelaide. Go I Go ! 

Weislixgen. I do not say adieu : I shall see you again. 

[_Exeunt Weislingen and Francis. 

Adelaide. Thou wilt see me again r We must provide for 
that. Margaret, when he comes, refuse him admittance. Say 
I am ill, have a head-ache, am asleep, anything. If this does 
not detain him, nothing will. [_Exeiint, 

SCENE YII. An ante-room, 
Weislixgex and Francis. 

Weislingen'. She will not see me ! 

Francis. Night draws on ; shall we saddle ? 

Weislingen. She will not see me! 

Francis. Shall I order the horses ? 

Weislingen. It is too late ; we stay here. 

Francis. God be praised ! [Exit. 

Weislingen {alone). Thou stayest! Be on thy guard — 
the temptation is great. My horse started at the castle 
gate. My good angel stood before him, he knew the danger 
that awaited me. Yet it would be wrong to leave in con- 
fusion the various affairs entrusted to me by the bishop 
without at least so arranging them, that my successor may be 
able to continue where I left off. That I can do without breach 
of faith to Berlichingen, and when it is done no one shall detain 
me. Yet it would have been better that I had never come. 
But I will away — to-morrow — or next day : — Tis decided ! 


S*IENE Vill. Jlie Spessart, 

Elder Gcetz, Selbitz, and George. 

Selbitz. You seo it has turned out as I prophesied. 
GoETZ. No, no, no. 

George. I tell you the truth, believe me. I did as you 
commanded, took the dress and pass-word of the Bamberg 
trooper, and escorted some peasants of the Lower Rhine, 
who paid my expenses for my convoy. 

Selbitz. In that disguise? It might have cost thee dear 

sc. VIII."] 


George. So I begin to think, now that it's over, A 
trooper who thinks of danger beforehand, will never do any- 
thing great. I got safely to Bamberg, and in the very first 
inn I heard them tell how the bishop and Weislingen were 
reconciled, and how Weislingen was to man'v the widow of 
Von Walldorf. 

GoETZ. Mere gossip ! 

Geokge. I saw him as he led her to table. She is lovely, 
by my faith, most lovely ! We all bowed — she thanked ns 
all. He nodded, and seemed highly pleased. They passed oii^ 
and everybody murmured, What a handsome pair !" 

Goetz. That may be 

George. Listen further : The next day as he went to 
mass, I watched my opportunity : he was attended only 
by his squire ; I stood at the steps, and whispered to him 
as he passed, " A few words from your friend Berlichingen.'' 
He started — I marked the confession of guilt in his face. 
He had scarcely the heart to look at me — me, a poor 
trooper's boy ! 

Selbitz. His evil conscience degrades him more than 
thy condition does thee. 

George. " Art thou of Bamberg ?" said he. ''The Knight 
of Berlichingen greets you," said I, and I am to enquire — " 
" Come to my apartment to-morrow morning," quoth he, 
" and we will speak further." 

GoETZ. And you went. 

George. Yes, certainly, I went, and waited in his ante- 
chamber a long — long time — and his pages, in their silken 
doublets, stared at me from head to foot. Stare on, thought 
I. At length I was admitted. He seemed angry. But what 
cared I ? I gave my message. He began blustering like n 
coward who wants to look brave. He wondered that you 
should take him to task through a trooper's boy. That an- 
gered me. " There are but two sorts of people," said I, 
" true men and scoundrels, and I serve Goetz of Berlichin- 
gen." Then he began to talk all manner of nonsense, \vhich 
all tended to one point, namely, that you had hurried him 
into an agreement, that he owed you no allegiance, and would 
have nothing to do with you, 

GoETZ. Hadst thou that from his own mouth r 
George. That, and yet more. He threatened me — 
Goetz. It is enough. He is lost for ever. Faith and 



[act 11. 

confidence again, liave ye deceived me. Poor Maria ! how 
am I to break this to you ? 

Selbitz. I would rather lose my other leg than be such 
a rascal. 

SCENE IX. Hall in the Bishop's Palace at Bainherg. 
Adelaide and Weislingen discovered. 

Adelaide. Time begins to hang insupportably heavy here. 
I dare not speak seriously, and I am ashamed to trifle with 
you. Ennui, thou art worse than a slow fever. 

Weislingejs". Are you th^ed of me already ! 

Adelaide. Not so much of you as of your society. I 
would you had gone when you wished, and that we had not 
detained you. 

"Weislingen. Such is woman's favour I At first she 
fosters with maternal warmth our dearest hopes ; and then, like 
an inconstant hen, she forsakes the nest, and abandons the 
infant brood to death and decay. 

Adelaide. Yes, you may rail at women. The reckless 
gambler tears and curses the harmless cards which have been 
the instruments of his loss. But let me tell you something about 
men. What are you that talk about fickleness? You that 
are seldom even what you. would wish to be, never what you 
should be. Princes in holiday garb ! the envy of the vulgar. 

what would a tailor's wife not give for a necklace of the pearls 
on the skirt of your robe, which you kick back contemptu* 
ously with your lieels. 

Weislingen. You are severe. 

Adelaide. It is but the antistrophe to your song. Ere 

1 knew you, Weislingen, I felt like the tailor's wife. Hundred- 
tongued rumour, to speak without metaphor, had so extolled 
you, in quack-doctor fashion, that I was tempted to wish — 
O that I could but see this quintessence of manhood, this 
phoenix, Weislingen ! My wish was granted. 

Weislingen. And the phcsnix turned out a dunghill cock. 
Adelaide. No, Weislingen, I took an interest in you. 
Weislingen. So it appeared. 

Adelaide. So it was — for you really surpassed your repu- 
tation. The multitude prize only the reflection of worth. For 
my part, I do not care to scrutinize the character of those 

sc. IX. J 



whom I esteem ; so we lived on for some time. I felt there 
was a deficiency in you, but knew not w^hat I missed; at 
length my eyes were opened — I saw instead of the energetic 
being who gave impulse to the affairs of a kingdom, and was 
ever alive to the voice of fame — who was wont to pile princely 
project on project, till, like the mountains of the Titans, they 
reached the clouds — instead of all this, I saw a man as querulous 
as a love- sick poet, as melancholy as a slighted damsel, and 
more indolent than an old bachelor. I first ascribed it to your 
misfortune which still lay at your heart, and excused you as 
well as I could ; but now that it daily becomes worse, you 
must really forgive me if I withdraw my favour from you. 
You possess it unjustly ; I bestowed it for life on a hero 
who cannot transfer it to you. 

Weislingen. Dismiss me, then. 

Adelaide. Not till all chance of recovery is lost. Solitude 
is fatal rn your distemper. Alas ! poor man ! you are as 
dejected as one whose first love has proved false, and there- 
fore I w^on't give you up. Give me your hand, and pardon 
w^hat affection has urged me to say. 

Weislingen. Could'st thou but love me, could'st thou 
but return the fervour of my passion with the least glow 
of sympathy. — Adelaide, thy reproaches are most imjust. 
Could'st thou but guess the hundredth part of my sufferings, 
thou wouldst not have tortured me so unmercifully with 
encouragement, indifference, and contempt. You smile. To 
be reconciled to myself after the step I have taken must be 
the work of more than one day. How can I plot against the 
man who has been so recently and so vividly restored to my 

Adelaide. Strange being ! Can you love him whom you 
envy ? It is like sending provisions to an enemy. 

Weislingen. I well know that here there must be no 
dallying. He is aware that I am again Weislingen; and 
he will watch his advantage over us. Besides, Adelaide, 
we are not so sluggish as you think. Our troopers are rein- 
forced and watchful, our schemes are proceeding, and the diet 
of Augsburg will, I hope, soon bring them to a favourable issue. 

Adelaide. You go there ? 

Weislingen. If I could carry a glimpse of hope with me, 

[^Kisses her hand^ 



[act ri. 

Adelaide. Oh ! ye infidels ! Always signs and wonders 
required. Go, Weislingen, and accompfish the work ! The 
interest of the bishop, yours, and mine, are all so linked 
together, that were it only for policy's sake— 

Weislingen. You jest. 

Adelaide. I do not jest. The haughty duke has seized 
my property. Goetz will not be slow to ravage yours ; and 
if we do not hold together, as our enemies do, and gain over 
the emperor to our side, we are lost. 

Weislingen. I fear nothing. Most of the princes think 
with us. The emperor needs assistance against the Turks, 
and it is therefore just that he should help us in his turn. 
What rapture for me to rescue your fortune from rapacious 
enemies; to crush the mutinous chivalry of Swabia; to 
restore peace to the bishopric, and then — 

Adelaide. One day brings on another, and fate is mis- 
tress of the futurfe. 

Weislingen. But we must lend our endeavours. 

Adelaide. We do so. 

Weislingen. But seriously. 

Adelaide. Well, then, seriously. Do but go — 

Weislingen. Enchantress ! \_Exeimt 

SCENE X. An Inn, 

The Bridal of a Peasant. 

The Bkide's Fathek, Bkide, Bridegroom, and other 
Country -folks ^ Goetz of Berlichingen^ and Hans of 
Selhitz all discovered at table. Troopers and 
Peasants attend. 
Goetz. It was the best way thus to settle your law- 
suit by a merry bridal. 

Bride's Father. Better than ever I could have dreamed 
of, noble sir — ^to spend my days in peace and quiet with 
my neighbour, and have a daughter provided for to boot. 

Bridegroom. And I to get the bone of contention and 
a pretty w4fe into the bargain ! Aye, the prettiest in the 
whole village. Would to Heaven you had consented sooner 
Goetz. How long have you been at law ? 
Bride's Father. About eight years. I would rathei 

5C. >C.J 



have tlie fever for twice that time, than go through with it 
again from the beginning. For these periwigged gentry 
never give a decision till you tear it out of their very hearts ; 
and after all, what do you get for your pains ? The Devi) 
fly away with the assessor Sapupi for a damnd swarthy 
Italian I 

Brideghoom. Yes, he's a pretty fellow ; I was before 
him twice. 

Bride's Father. And I thrice ; and look ye, gentelmen, 
we got a judgment at last, which set forth that he was as 
much in the light as I, and I as much as he; so there we 
stood like a couple of fools, till a good Providence put it 
into my head to give him my daughter, and the ground 

Goetz {drinhs). To your better understanding for the 

Bride's Father. With all my heart ! But como what 
may, I'll never go to law again as long as I live. What a 
mint of money it costs ! For every bow made to you by a 
procurator, you must come do\vn with your dollars. 

Selbitz. But there are annual imperial visitations. 

Bride's Father. I have never heard of them. Many 
an extra dollar have they contrived to squeeze out of me. 
The expenses are horrible. 

Goetz. How mean you ? 

Bride's Father. Why, look you, these gentlemen of the 
law are always holding out their hands. The assessor alone, 
God forgive him, eased me of eighteen golden guilders. 

Bridegroom. Who ? 

Bride's Father. Why, who else but Sapupi. 
Goetz. That is infamous. 

Bride's Father. Yes, he asked twenty: and there I 
had to pay them m the great hall of his fine country-bouse. 
I thought my heart would burst with anguish. For 
look you, my lord, I am well enough off with my house 
and little farm, but how could I raise the ready cash? I 
stood there, God knows how it was with me. I had not a 
single farthing to carry me on my journey. At last I took 
courage and told him my case : when he saw I was despe- 
rate, he flung me back a couple of guilders, and sent me 
about my business. 

2 Q 



Lact II. 

Bridegkoom. Impossible ! Sapupi ? 

Bride's Father. Aye, he himself ! — What do you stare 


Bridegroom. Devil take the rascal! He took fifteen 
guilders from me too ! 

Bride's Father. The deuce he did ! 

Selbitz. They call us robbers, Goetz ! 

Bride's Father. Bribed on both sides! That's why 
the judgment fell out so queer. — Oh ! the scoundrel ! 

Goetz. You must not let this pass unnoticed. 

Bride's Father. What can we do ? 

Goetz. Why — go to Spire where there is an imperial 
visitation : make your complaint ; they must enquire into it, 
and help you to your own again. 

Bridegroom. Does your honour think we shall suc- 

Goetz. If I might take him in hand, I could promise it you. 
Selbitz. The sum is worth an attempt. 
Goetz. Aye ; many a-day have T ridden out for the 
fourth part of it. 

Bride's Father {to Bridegroom.) "What think'st thou? 
Bridegroom. We'll try, come what may. 

Enter George. 
George. The Nurembergers have set out. 
Goetz. Whereabouts are they ? 

George. If we ride off quietly, we shall just catch them 
in the wood betwixt Berheim and Miihlbach. 
Selbitz. Excellent ! 

Goetz. Well, my children, God bless you, and help 
every man to his own ! 

Bride's Father. Thanks, gallant sir! Will you not 
ptay to supper ? 

Goetz. I cannot. Adieu ! 

\Exeunt Goetz, Seibitz, am/ TaoorEBS. 






SCENE I. A Garden at Augshurg. 
E^ter tivo Merchants of Nuremberg. 

First Merchant. Well stand here, for the emperor 
must pass this way. He is just coming Tip the long avenue. 

Second Merchant. Who is that with him ? 

First Merchant. Adelbert of Weislingen. 

Second Merchant. The bishop's friend. That's lucky! 

First Merchant. We'll throw ourselves at his feet. 

Second Merchant. See ! they come. 

Enter the Emperor and Weislingen. 

First Merchant. He looks displeased. 

Emperor. I am disheartened, Weislingen. When I review 
my past life, I am ready to despair. So many half — aye, 
and wholly ruined undertakings — and all because the pettiest 
feudatory of the empire thinks more of gratifying his own 
whims than of seconding m}^ endeavours. 

\_The Merchants throw themselv'^s at his feet. 

First Merchant. Most mio^hty ! Most gracious ! 

Emperor. Who are ye ? What seek ye ? 

First Merchant. Poor merchants of Nuremberg, your 
majesty's devoted servants, who implore your aid. Goetz 
von Beriichingen and Hans von Selbitz fell upon thirty of us 
as we journeyed from the fair of Frankfort, under an escort 
from Bamberg; they overpowered and plundered us. We 
implore yom- imperial assistance to obtain redress, else we 
are all ruined men, and shall be compelled to beg out 

Emperor. Good heavens ! What is this ? The one has 
but one hand, the other but one leg ; if they both had two 
hands and two legs what would yon do then ! 

First Merchant. We most humbly beseech your 
majesty to cast a look of compassion upon our unfortunate 

Emperor. How is this : — If a merchant loses a bag of 
pepper, all Germany is to rise in arms ; but when bus-iucss 


is to be done, in which the imperial majesty and the empire 
are interested, should it concern dukedoms, principalities, 
or kingdoms, there is no bringing you together. 

Weislingen. You come an unv%-aJ?onable time. Go, 
and stay at Augsburg for a few days. 

Merchat^ts. We make our most humble obeisance. 

[_Exeunt Merchants. 

Emperor. Again new disturbances; they multiply like 
the hydra's heads ! 

Weisltngen. And can only be extirpated with fire and 

Emperor. Do you think so ? 

Weislingen. Nothing seems to me more advisable, could 
your majesty and the princes but accommodate your other 
unimportant disputes. It is not the body of the state that 
complains of this malady — Franconia and Swabia alone glow 
with the embers of civil discord ; and even there many of 
the nobles and free barons long for quiet. Could we but 
crush Sickingen, Selbitz — and — and — and Berlichingen, the 
others would soon fall asunder ; for it is the spirit of these 
knights which quickens the turbulent multitude. 

Emperor. Fain would I spare them ; they are noble and 
hard}^ Should I be engaged in war, they would follow me 
to the field. 

Weislingen. It is to be wished they had at all times 
known their duty ; though even in that case it would have 
been dangerous to reward their mutinous bravery by offices 
of trust. For it is exactly this imperial mercy and forgiveness 
which they have hitherto so grievously abused, and upon which 
the hope and confidence of their league rests, and this spirit 
cannot be quelled till we have wholly destroyed their power 
in the eyes of the world, and taken from them all hope of ever 
recovering their lost influence. 

Emperor. You advise severe measures then? 

Weislingen. I see no other means of quelling the spirit 
of insurrection which has seized upon whole provinces. Do 
we not already hear the bitterest complaints from the nobles, 
that their vassals and serfs rebel against them, question their 
authority, and threaten to curtail their hereditary prerogo- 
tives ? A proceeding which would involve the most feariiil 

50. ri.J 



Emperch. This were a fair occasion for proceeding 
against Berlichingen and Selbitz ; but I will not have them 
personally injured. Could they be taken prisoners, they 
should swear to renounce their feuds, and to remain in their 
own castles and territories upon their knightly parole. At 
the next session of the Diet we will propose this plar. 

Weislingen. a general exclamation of joyful assent 
will spare your majesty the trouble of particular detail. 

SCENE II. Jaxthausen, 

Enter Goetz and Fkanz yon Sickingen. 

SiCKiNGEN. Yes, my friend, I come to beg the heart and 
hand of your noble sister. 

GoETZ. I would you had come sooner. Weislingen, 
during his imprisonment, obtained her affections, proposed 
for her, and I gave my consent. I let the bird loose, and 
he now despises the benevolent hand that fed him in his 
distress. He flutters about to seek his food. God knows 
upon what hedge. 

SiCKINGEN. Is this so ? 

GoETZ. Even as I tell you. 

SiCKiNGEN. He has broken a double bond. 'Tis well 
for you that you were not more closely allied with the 

GoETZ. The poor maiden passes her life in lamentation 
and prayer. 

SiCKiNGEN. T will comfort her. 

Goetz. What I Could you make up your mind to marry 
a forsaken- 

SiCKiNGEN. It is to the honour of you both, to have 
been deceived by him. Should the poor girl be caged in a 
cloister because the first man who gained her love proved a 
villain ? Not so ; I insist on it. She shall be mistress of my 
castles ! 

GoETZ. I tell you he was not indifferent to her. 
SicKiNGEN. Do you think I cannot efface the recollection 
of such 51 wretch ? Let us go to her. l.Exeunt 



[act 111. 

SCENE III. The Camp of the Party sent to execute ihi, 
Imperial mandate. 

Imperial Captain and Officees discovered. 

Captain. We must be cautious, and spare our people aa 
much as possible. Besides, we have strict orders to over- 
power and take him alive. It will be difficult to obey ; for 
who will engage with him hand to hand ? 

First Officer. 'Tis true. And he will fight like a wild 
boar. Besides, he has never in his whole life injured any 
of us, so each will be glad to leave to the other the honour 
of risking life and limb to please the emperor. 

Second Officer. 'Twere shame to us should we not 
take him. Had I him once by the ears, he should not easily 

First Officer. Don't seize him with your teeth, how- 
ever, he might chance to run away with your jaw-bone. 
My good young sir, such men are not taken like a run- 
away thief. 

Second Officer. We shall see. 

Captain. By this time he must have had our summons. 
We must not delay. I mean to dispatch a troop to watch 
his motions. 

Second Officer. Let me lead it. 

Captain. You are unacquainted with the country. 

Second Officer. I have a servant who was born and 
bred here. 

Captain. That will do. \_Exeunt. 

SCENE IV. Jaxthauseu. 

SiCKiNGEN (^alone). 

All goes as I wish! She was somewhat startled at my 
proposal, and looked at me from head to foot; I'll wager 
«he was comparing me with her gallant. Thank Heaven 
I can stand the scrutiny! She answered little and cun- 
fasedly. So much the better! Let it work for a time,' 

SCL IV. j 



A proposal of marriage does not come amiss after such a 
cruel disappointment. 

Enter Goetz. 
SiCKiNGEN. What news, brother ? 
GoETz. They have laid me under the ban. 
SiCKiNGEN. How ? 

GoETZ. There, read the edifjdng epistle. The emperor 
has issued an edict against me, which gives my body for food 
to the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the air. 

Sickinge:n". They shall first furnish them with a dinner 
themselves. I am here in the very nick of time. 

GoETZ. No, Sickingen, you must leave me. Your great 
undertakings might be ruined, should you become the enemy 
of the emperor at so unseasonable a time. Besides, you can 
be of more use to me by remaining neutral. The worst that 
can happen is my being made prisoner ; and then your good 
word with the emperor, who esteems you, may rescue me 
from the misfortune into which your untimely assistance W' ould 
irremediably plunge us both. To w^hat purpose should you 
do otherwise ? These troops are marching against me ; and 
if they knew we were united, their numbers would only be 
increased, and our position would consequently be no better. 
The emperor is at the fountain head ; and I should be utterly 
ruined were it as easy to inspire soldiers with courage as to 
collect them into a body. 

Sickingen. But I can privately reinforce you with a 
score of troopers. 

GoETZ. Good. I have already sent George to Selbitz, 
and to my people in the neighbourhood. My dear brother, 
when my forces are collected, they will be such a troop as 
few princes can bring together. 

Sickingen. It will be small against the multitude. 

Goetz. One wolf is too many for a whole flock of sheep. 

Sickingen. But if they have a good shepherd ? 

Goetz. Never fear ! They are all hirelings ; and then 
even the best knight can do but little if he cannot act as he 
pleases. It happened once, that to oblige the Palsgrave, I 
went to serve against Conrad Schotten ; they then presented 
me with a paper of instructions from the chancery, which 
set forth — ^Thus and thus must you proceed. I threw 
down the paper before the magistrates, and told them 



^'aCT 111. 

I could not act according to it; that something might happen 
unprovided for in my instructions, and that I must use my 
own eyes and judge what w^as best to be done. 

SiCKiNGEx. Good luck, brother! I will hence, and 
send thee what men I can collect in haste. 

GoETZ. Come first to the w^omen. I left them together. 

w^ould you had her consent before you depai-t! Then 
send me the troopers, and come back in private tc carry 
away my Maria; for my castle, I fear, will shortly be no 
abode for women. 

SiCKiNGEN. We will hope for the best. [Exeunt. 

SCENE V. Bamherg. Adelaid^^s Chamler, 
Adelaide and Francis. 

Adelaide. They have already set out to enforce the ban 
against both? 

Francis. Yes ; and my master has the happiness of 
marching against your enemies. I would gladly have gone 
also, however rejoiced I always am at being dispatched to 
you. But I will away instantly, and soon return with good 
news ; my master has allowed me to do so. 

Adelaide. How is he? 

Francis. He is well, and commanded me to kiss your 

Adelaide. There! — ^Thy lips glow. 

Francis (aside, pressing his breast). Here glows some- 
thing yet more fiery. (Aloud) Gracious lady, your servants 
are the most fortunate of beings ! 

Adelaide. "Who goes against Berlichingen ? 

Francis. The Baron von Sirau. Farewell! Dearest 
most gracious lady, I must away. Forget me not! 

Adelaide. Thou must first take some rest and refresh 

Francis. I need none, for I have seen you! I am 
neither weary nor hungry. 

Adelaide. I know thy fidelity. 
Francis. Ah, gracious lady! 

Adelaide. You can never hold out; you must repose* 
and refresh yourself. 

e.?. VI.J 



Francis. You are too kind to a poor youth. \_ExiL 
Adelaide. The tears stood m his eyes. I love him 
from my heart. Never did man attach himself to me with 
such warmth of affection. \_I^xit, 

SCENE VI. Jaxthausen. 

GoETZ and George. 

George. He wants to speak with you in person. I do not 
know him — he is a tall, v/ell-made man, with keen dark eyes. 

Goetz. Admit him. [^Exit George. 

JE7iter Lerse. 

Goetz. God save you! What bring you ? 

Lerse. Myself; not much, but such as it is, it is at your 

Goetz. You are welcome, doubly welcome! A brave 
man, and at a time when, far from expecting new friends, 
I was in hourly fear of losing the old. Your name ? 

Lerse. Franz Lerse. 

Goetz. I thank you, Franz, for making me acquainted 
with a brave man ! 

Lerse. I made you acquainted with me once before, but 
then you did not thank me for my pains. 

Goetz. I have no recollection of you. 

Lerse. I should be sony if you had. Do you recollect 
when, to please the Palsgrave, you rode against Conrad 
Schotten, and went through Hassfurt on an Allhallows eve ? 

Goetz. I remember it well. 

Lerse. And twenty-five troopers encountered you in a 
village by the way ? 

Goetz. Exactly. I at first took them for only twelve. I 
divided my party, which amounted but to sixteen, and halted 
in the village behind the barn, intending to let them ride 
by. Then I thought of falling upon them in the rear, as I 
had concerted with the other troop. 

Lerse. "We saw you, however, and stationed ourselves 
on a height above the village. You drew up beneath the hill 
and halted. When we perceived that you did not intend to 
come up to us we rode iown to you. 

Ggexz. And then I saw for the first time that I had 



[act III. 

thrust my hand into the fire. Five-and- twenty against eight 
IS no jesting business. Everard Truchsess killed one of niy 
followers, for which I knocked him off his horse. Had they 
all behaved like him and one other trooper, it would have 
been all over with me and my little band. 
Lerse. And that trooper 

GoETZ. Was as gallant a fellow as I ever saw. He 
attacked me fiercely ; and when I thought I had given him 
enough and was engaged elsewhere, he was upon me again, 
and laid on like a fury: he cut quite through my armour, 
and wounded me in the arm. 

Lekse. Have you forgiven him ? 

GoETZ. He pleased me only too well. 

Lehse. I hope then you have cause to be contented with 
me, since the proof of my valour was on your own person. 

GoETZ. Art thou he? O welcome! welcome! Canst 
thou boast, Maximilian, that amongst thy followers, thou 
hast gained one after this fashion? 

Lerse. I wonder you did not sooner hit upon me. 

GoETZ. How could 1 think that the man would engage 
in my service who did his best to overpower me ? 

Lekse. Even so, my lord. From my youth upwards I 
have served as a trooper, and have had a tussle with many 
a knight. I was overjoyed when we met you ; for I had 
heard of your prowess, and wished to know you. Yow saw I 
gave way, and that it was not from cowardice, for I re- 
turned to the charge. In short, I learnt to know you, and 
from that hour I resolved to enter your service. 

GoETZ. How long wilt thou engage with me ? 

Lerse. For a year, without pay. 

GoETZ. No ; thou shalt have as the others ; nay more^ 
as befits him who gave me so much work at Remlin. 
Enter George. 

George. Hans of Selbitz greets you. To-morrow he 
will be here with fifty men. 

GoETZ. 'Tis well. 

George. There is a troop of Imperialists riding do wo 
the hill, doubtless to reconnoitre. 
GoETZ. How many ? 
George. About fifty. 

GoETZ. Only fifty! Come, Leiije, we'll have a slash at 

sc. Til.] 


them, so that when Selbitz comes he may find some work 
done to his hand. 

Lerse. 'Twill be capital practice. 

GoETZ. To horse ! [ExetmL 

SCENE VII. A Wood, on the horders of a Morass. 

Tivo Imperialist Troopers meeting. 

First Imperialist. What dost thou here ? 

Second Imperialist. I have leave of absence for ten 
minutes. Ever since our quarters were beat up last night, 
I have had such violent attacks that I can't sit on horseback 
for two minutes together. 

First Imperialist. Is the party far advanced ? 

Second Imperialist. About three miles into the wood. 

First Imperialist. Then why are you playing truant 
here r 

Second Imperialist. Prithee, betray me not. I am 
going to the next village to see if I cannot get some warm 
bandages, to relieve my complaint. But whence comest thou? 

First Imperialist. I am bringing our officer some wine 
and meat from the nearest village. 

Second Imperialist. So, so ! he stuffs himself under 
our very noses, and we must starve — A fine example ! 

First Imperialist. Come back with me, rascal. 

Second Imperialist. Call me a fool, if I do ! There 
are plenty in our troop who would gladly fast, to be as far 
away as I am. \_Trampling of horses heard. 

First Imperialist. 

Hear'st thou ? — Horses ! 

Second Imperialist. Oh dear ! Oh dear ! 

First Imperialist. I'll get up into this tree. 

Second Imperialist. And I'll hide among the rushes. 

\They hide themselves. 
Enter on horsehacJc, Goetz, Lerse, George, and Troopers, 
all completely armed. 

Goetz. Away into the wood, by the ditch on the left—* 
then we have them in the rear. \_They gallop off'. 

First Imperialist {descending). This is a bad lusiness 
—Michael I — He answers not — Michael, they are gone! ( Gobb^ 



[act rit. 

iowanis the marsh.) Alas, he is sunk ! — Michael ! — He hears 
me not: he is suffocated. — Poor coward, art thou done for — 
We are slain — Enemies ! Enemies on all sides ! 

Re-enter Goetz and Geobge on horseback. 

GoETZ. Yield thee, fellow, or thou diest ! 

Imperialist. Spare my life! 

GoETZ. Thy sword ! — George, lead him to the other pri- 
soners, whom Lerse is guarding yonder in the wood — I must 
pursue their fugitive leader. \_Exit. 

Imperialist. What has become of the knight, our 

George. My master struck him head over heels from hia 
horse, so that his plume stuck in the mire. His troopers 
got him up and ran as if the devil were behind them. 


SCENE VIII. Camp of the Imperialists, 

Captain and First Ofeicer. 

First Oeficer. They fly from afar towards the camp. 

Captain. He is most likely hard at their heels — Draw 
out fifty as far as the mill; if he follows up the pursuit too 
far, you may perhaps entrap him. \_Exit Officer. 

The Second Officer is home in. 

Captain. How now, my young sir — have you got a 
cracked headpiece ? 

Officer. A plague upon you ! The stoutest helmet went 
to shivers like glass. The demon I — he ran upon me as if he 
would strike me into the earth ! 

Captain. Thank God that you have escaped with your 

Officer. There is little left to be thankful for ; two of my 
Tibs are broken — where' s the surgeon ? \^He is carried off, 

SCENE IX. Jaxthausen, 

Enter Uoetz and Selbitz. 

GoETZ. And what say you to the ban, Selbits? 
Sflbitz. *Tis a trick of Weislingen's. 
GoETZ. Do you think so ? 

sc. x.j 



Selbitz. I do not think — I know it. 
GoETZ. How so ? 

Selbitz. He was at the Diet, I tell thee, ani near the 
emperor's person. 

GoETZ. Well then, we shall frustrate another of his 

Selbitz. I hope so. 

GoETZ. We will away ! and course these hares. 

SCENE X. The Imperial Camp. 

Captain, Officers and Followers. 

Captain. We shall gain nothing at this work, sirs! He 
beats one troop after another ; and whoever escapes death or 
captivity, would rather fly to Turkey than return to the camp. 
Thus our force diminishes daily. We must attack him once 
for all, and in earnest — I will go myself, and he shall, find 
with whom he has to deal. 

Officer. We are all content ; but he is so well acquainted 
with the countiy, and knows every path and ravine so 
thoroughly, that he will be as difficult to find as a rat in a barix. 

Captain. I warrant you we'll ferret hun out. On to- 
wards Jaxthausen ! Whether he like it or not, he must come 
to defend his castle. 

Officer, Shall our whole force march? 

Captain. Yes, certainly — do you know that a hundred 
of us are melted away already? 

Officer. Then let us away with speed, before the whole 
snow-ball dissolves ; for this is warm work, and we stand here 
like butter in the sunshine. \JExeunt—A march sounded. 

SCENE XI. Mountains and a Wood. 

Goetz, Selbitz and Troopers. 

Goetz. They are coming in full force. It was high time 
that Sickingen's troopers joined us. 

Selbitz. We will divide our party — I will take the left 
band by the hill. 

Goetz. Good — and do thou, Lerse, lead fifty men straight 
through the wood on the right, The^' are coming across the 



lieatli— I will draw up opposite to them. George, stay 

by me when you see them attack me, then fall upon their 

£ank : we'll beat the knaves into a mummy— they little think 
we can face them. [Exeunt. 

SCENE XII. A heath — on one side an eminence, with a 
ruined tower, on the other the forest. 

Enter marching, the Captain of the Imperialists with 
Officers and his Squadron — Drums and standards. 

Captain. He halts upon the heath! that's too impudent. 
He shall smart for it — what ! not fear the torrent that threatens 
to overwhelm him ! 

Officer. I had rather you did not head the troops; 
he looks as if he meant to plant the first that comes upon him 
in the mire with his head downmost. Prithee ride in the rear. 

Captain. Not so. 

Officer. I entreat you. You are the knot which unites 
this bundle of hazel-twigs ; loose it, and he will break them 
separately like so many reeds. 

Captain. Sound, trumpeter — and let us blow him to hell ! 

\_A charge sounded — Exeunt in full career, 
Selbitz, loith his Troopers, comes from behind the hill, 

Selbitz. Follow me! They shall wish that they could 
multiply their hands. 

\They gallop across the stage, et exeunt. 
Loud alarm — Lerse and his party sally from the wood. 
Lerse. Ho ! to the rescue ! Goetz is almost surrounded. 
— Gallant Selbitz, thou hast cut thy way — we will sow the 
heath with these thistle heads. [Gallop off, 

[A loud alarm, with shouting and firing for some minutes. 
Selbitz is borne in wounded by two Troopers.] 
Selbitz. Leave me here, and hasten to Goetz. 
First Trooper. Let us stay, sir — ^you need our aid. 
Selbitz. Get one of you on the watch-tower, and tell me 
how it goes. 

First Trooper. How shall I get up? 
Second Trooper. Mount upon my shouldersi — ^you can 
then reach the ruined part, and thence scramble up to the 
openir-g. [First Trooper gets up into the tower. 


First Trooper, Alas! Sir! 
Selbitz. What seest thou ? 

First Trooper. Your troopers fly towards the hill. 

Selbitz. Rascally cowards ! — I would that they stood their 
ground, and I had a ball through my head ! — Ride one of you 
full speed — Curse and thunder them back to the field — Seest 
thou Goetz ? l^Exit Second Trooper. 

Trooper. I see his three black feathers floating in the 
midst of the wavy tumult. 

Selbitz. Swim, brave swimmer — I lie here. 
Trooper. A white plume — whose is that ? 
Selbitz. The captain's. 

Trooper. Goetz gallops upon him — crash! Down tc 

goes ! 

Selbitz. The captain ? 

Trooper. Yes, Sir. 

Selbitz. Hurrah! hurrah! 

Trooper. Alas ! alas ! I see Goetz no more. 

Selbitz. Then die, Selbitz ! 

Trooper. A dreadful tumult whcru he stood — George's 
blue plume vanishes too. 

Selbitz. Come down ! Dost thou net see Lerse ? 

Trooper. No ! — Everything is in Cv)iifusion ! 

Selbitz. No more. Come down. — How do Sickingen's 
men bear themselves ? 

Trooper. Well ! — One of them flics to the w^ood — another 
— another — a w^hole troop. — Goetz is lost! 

Selbitz. Come down. 

Trooper. I cannot — Hui'rah ! Hurrah ! I see Goetz, I see 

Selbitz. On horseback? 

Trooper. Aye, aye, high on horseback — ^Victory ! victory ! 
—they fly. 

Selbitz. The Imperialists? 

Trooper. Yes, standard and all. Goetz behind them. They 
disperse, — Goetz reaches the ensign — he seizes tlie standard ; 
he halts. A handful of men rally round him — My comrade 
reaches him — They come this way. 

£nter Goetz, George, Lerse, aw^/ Troopers, o?i horseback 
Selbitz. Joy to thee, Gofttr. J— Victory ! victory! 



f ACT irr. 

GoETZ {dismounting). Dearly, dearly bought. Thou art 
wounded, Selbitz ! 

Selbitz. But thou dost live and hast conquered ! I have 
done little ; and my dogs of troopers ! How hast thou come 

GoETZ. For the present, well ! And here I thank George, 
and thee Lerse, for my life. I unhorsed the captain, they 
stabbed my horse, and pressed me hard. George cut his 
way to me, and sprang off his horse. I threw myself like 
lightning upon it, and he appeared suddenly like a thunderbolt 
upon another. How earnest fhou by thy steed ? 

George. A fellow struck at you from behind : as he 
raised his cuirass in the act, I stabbed him with my dagger. 
Down he came ! and so I rid you of an enemy, and helped 
myself to a horse. 

GoETZ. Then we held together till Francis here came 
to our help ; and thereupon we mowed our way out. 

Lehse. The hounds whom I led were to have mowed 
their way in, till our scythes met, but they fled like 

Goetz. Friend and foe all fled, except this little band who 
protected my rear. I had enough to do with the fellows in 
front, but the fall of their captain dismayed them: they 
wavered, and fled. I have their banner, and a few prisoners. 

Selbitz. The captain has escaped you ? 

GoETZ. They rescued him in the scuffle. Come lads, 
come Selbitz. — Make a litter of lances and boughs : Thou 
can'st not mount a horse, come to my castle. They are scat- 
tered but we are very few ; and I know not what troops they 
may have in reserve. I will be your host, my friends. Wine 
will taste well after such an action ! 

l^^Exeunt^ carrying Selbitz, 

SCENE XHL The Camp, 

The Captain and Impebialists. 

Captain. I could kill you all with my own hand. — What! 
to turn tail ! He had not a handful of men left. To give 
way before one man ! No one will believe it but those who 
wish to make a jest of us. Hide round the country, you, 
and you, and you: collect our scattered soldiers, or cut 

3C. XIT. I 



them down wherever you find them. We must grind these 
notches out of our blades, even should we spoil our swords in. 
the operation. \Exeunt, 

SCENE XIV. Jaxthansen. 
GoETz, Lerse, and Geoege. 

GoETZ. We must not lose a moment. My poor fellows j 
I dare allow you no rest. Gallop round and strive to enlist 
troopers, appoint them to assemble at Weilern, where they will 
be most secure. Should we delay a moment, they will be before 
the castle. — {Exeunt Lerse and George) — I must send out 
a scout. This begins to grow warm. — If we had but brave 
foemen to deal with ! But these fellows are only formidable 
through their number. S^Exit 
Enter Sickingen and Mahia. 

Maria. I beseech thee, dear Sickingen, do not leave my 
brother ! His horsemen, your own, and those of Selbitz, all 
jire scattered; he is alone. Selbitz has been carried home 
to his castle wounded. I fear the worst. 

Sickingen. Be comforted, I will not leave him. 
Enter Goetz. 

GoETZ. Come to the chapel, the priest waits; in a fev/ 
minutes you shall be united. 

Sickingen. Let me remain wdth you. 
GoETZ. You must come now to the chapel. 
Sickingen. Willingly! — and then — 
GoETZ. Then you go your way. 
Sickingen. Goetz ! 
GoETZ. Will you not to the chapel ? 
Sickingen. Come, come ! 

SCENE XV. Camf . 

Captain and Officers. 

Captain . How many are we in all ? 
Officer. A hundred and fifty — 

Captain. Out of four hundred. — ^That is bad. Set out for 
Jaxthausen at once, before he collects his forces and attacks 
lis ou the way. 

2 H 




SCENE XVI. Jaxthausen. 
GoETZ, Elizabeth, Maria, and Sickingen. 

GoETZ. God bless you, give you happy days, and keep 
those for your children which he denies to you ! 

Elizabeth. And may they be virtuous as you— then let 
come what will. 

Sickingen. I thank you. — And you, my Maria ! As I led 
you to the altar, so shall you lead me to happiness. 

Maria. Our pilgrimage will be together towaids that 
distant and promised land. 

GoETZ. A prosperous journey ! 

Maria. That was not what I meant — ^We do not leave 

GoETZ. You must, sister. 

Maria. You are very harsh, brother. 

GoETZ. And you more affectionate than prudent. 
Enter George. 

George (aside to Goetz). I can collect no troopers : 
One was inclined to come, but he changed his mind and 

Goetz {to George). 'Tis well, George. Fortune begins 
to look coldly on me. I foreboded it, however. [Aloud. 
Sickingen, I entreat you, depart this very evening. Per 
suade Maria — You are her husband — let her feel it. — ^When 
women come across our undertakings, our enemies are more 
secure in the open j&eld, than they would else be in their 

Enter a Trooper. 

Trooper (aside to Goetz), The Imperial squadron is in 
fiill and rapid march hither. 

Goetz. I have roused them with stripes of the rod ! How 
many are they ? 

Trooper. About two hundred — They can scarcely be six 
miles from us. 

Goetz. Have they passed the river yet ? 

Trooper. No, my lord 1 

Goetz. Had I but fifty men, they should not cross it. 
Hast thou seen Lerse ? 
Trooper. No, my lord ! 

GoExz. Tell all to hold themselves ready.— We must part, 

sc. XVI. J 



dear friends. Weep on, my gentle Maria — Many a moment of 
happiness is yet in store for thee — It is better thou shouldst 
weep on thy wedding-day, than that present joy should be 
the fore-runner of future misery .—Fare well, Maria ! — Fare- 
well, brother ! 

Maria. I cannot leave you, sister. Dear brother, let us 
stay. Dost thou value my husband so little as to refuse his 
help in thy extremity ? 

GoETZ. Yes — it is gone far with me. Perhaps my fall 
is near. You are but beginning life, and should separate 
your lot from mine. I have ordered your horses to be 
saddled ; you must away instantly ! 

Maria. Brother! brother! 

Elizabeth {to Sickingen). Yield tc his wishes. Speak 
to her. 

Sickingen. Dear Maria ! we must go. 

Maria. Thou too ? My heart will break ! 

Goetz. Then stay. In a few hours my castle will be 

Maria {weeping Utterly), Alas ! alas ! 

Goetz. We will defend ourselves as long as we can. 

Maria. Mother of God, have mercy upon us ! 

Goetz. And at last we must die or surrender. Thy tears 
will then have involved thy noble husband in the same 
misfortune with me. 

Maria. Thou torturest me ! 

Goetz. Remain ! Remain ! We shall be taken together ! 
Sickingen, thou wilt fall into the pit with me, out of which 
I had hoped thou should'st have helped me. 

Maria. We will away — Sister — sister ! 

Goetz. Place her in safety, and then think of me. 

Sickingen. Never shall I repose a night till I know 
thou art out of danger. 

Goetz. Sister ! dear sister ! {Kisses her,) 

Sickingen. Away! away! 

Goetz. Yet one moment! I shall see you again. Be 
comforted, we shall meet again. {Exeunt Sickingen aid 
Maria.) I urged her to depart — yet when she leaves me, what 
woiild I not gi ^e to detain her. Elizabeth thou stayest with me. 
Elizabeth. Till death! [^ExiL 
Goetz. Whom God loves, to him may He give such a wifcc 

2 H 2 




Enter George. 

George. They are near ! I saw them from the tower. 
The suD is rising, and I perceived their lances glitter. I 
cared no more for them than a cat would for a whole army of 
mice. 'Tis true ive play the mice at present. 

Goetz. Look to the fastenings of the gates ; barricade 
them vnt}i beams and stones. {Exit George.) We'll exercise 
their patience, and they may chew away their valour in 
biting their nails. {A trumpet from without, Goetz goes to 
the tvindow,) Aha! Here comes a red-coated rascal to ask 
me whether I will be a scoundrel ! What says he ? ( The voice 
of the Herald is heard indistinctly^ as from a distance. 
Goetz mutters to himself,) A rope for thy throat ! ( Voice 
again.) "Offended majesty!" — Some priest has drawn up 
that proclamation. {Voice concludes^ and Goetz answers 
from the ivindow.) Surrender — surrender at discretion ' 
With whom speak you ? Am I a robber ? Tell your captain, 
that for the emperor I entertain, as I have ever done, all 

due respect ; but as for him, he may {Shuts the windoio 

with violence.) 

SCENE XVII. The Kitchen. 
Elizabeth preparing food — Enter Goetz. 

Goetz. You have hard work, my poor wife ! 

Elizabeth. Would it might last ! But you can hardly 
hold out long. 

Goetz. We have not had time to provide ourselves. 

Elizabeth. And so many people as you have been wont 
to entertain. The wine is well nigh finished. 

Goetz. If we can but hold out a certain time, they must 
propose a capitulation. We are doing them some damage I pro- 
mise you. They shoot the whole day, and only wound our 
walls and break our windows. Lerse is a gallant fellow. He 
slips about with his gun : if a rogue comes too nigh— - 
Pop ! there he lies ! {Firing.) 

Enter Trooper. 

Trooper. We want live coals, gracious lady ! 

Goetz. For what ? 

Trooper. Our bullets are spe^t ; we must cast seme new 

so. XVII.] 



GoET2. How goes it with the powder? 

Trooper. There is as yet no want : we save our fire. 
{Firing at intervals,) [JExeunt Goetz and Elizabeth, 

Enter Lerse with a hullet-^mould. Servants with coals, 

Lerse. Set them down, and then go and see for lead 
about the house; meanwhile I will make shift with this 
{Goes to the window, and takes out the leaden frames). Every- 
thing must be turned to account. So it is in this world — 
no one knows what a thing may come to : the glazier who 
made these frames little thought that the lead here was to 
give one of his grandsons his last headache ; and the father 
that begot me, little knew whether the fowls of heaven or the 
worms of the earth would pick my bones. 

Enter George with a leaden spout, 

George. Here's lead for thee ! If you hit with only 
half of it, not one will return to tell his Majesty, " Thy ser- 
vants have sped ill !" 

Lerse {cutting it down), A famous piece ! 

George. The rain must seek some other way. I'm not 
afraid of it— a brave trooper and a smart shower will always 
find their road. {They cast halls,) 

Lerse. Hold the ladle. {Goes to the window,) Yonder 
is a fellow creeping about with his rifle ; he thinks our fire 
is spent. He shall have a bullet warm from the pan. {He 
loads his rifle), 

George {puts down the mould). Let me see. 

Lerse. {Fires.) There lies the game ! 

George. He fired at me as I stepped out on the roof to 
get the lead. He killed a pigeon that sat near me ; it fell 
into the spout. I thanked him for my dinner, and went back 
with the double booty. {They cast halle,) 

Lerse. Now let us load, and g3 through the castle to 
earn our dinner. 

Enter Goetz. 

GoETZ. Stay, Lerse, I must speak with thee. I will not 
keep thee, George, from the sport. [Exit George. 

Goetz. They offer terms. 

Lerse. I will go and hear what they have to say. 
Goetz. They will require me to enter mj^self into ward 
in some town on my knightly parole. 

Lerse. That won't do. Suppose they allow ils free 




liberty of departure? for we can expect no relief from 
Sickingen. We will bury all tlie valuables, where no divining- 
rod shall find them ; leave them the bare walls, and come out 
with flying colours. 

GoETZ. They will not permit us. 

Lekse. It is worth the asking. We will demand a safe- 
conduct, and I will saUy out. 


GoETZ, Elizabeth, George, and Troopers al table, 

GoETZ. Danger unites us, my friends! Be of good 
cheer ; don't forget the bottle ! The flask is empty. Come, 
another, dear wife ! (Elizabeth shakes her head,) Is there 
no more ? 

Elizabeth {aside). Only one, which I have set apart far 

Goetz. Not so, my love ! Bring it out ; they need 
strengthening, more than I, for it is my quarrel. 

Elizabeth. Fetch it from the cupboard. 

Goetz. It is the last, and I feel as if we need not spare 
it. It is long since I have been so merry. {They Jill.) To 
the health of the emperor ! 

All. Long live the emperor ! 

Goetz. Be it our last word when we die ! I love him, 
for our fate is similar ; but I am happier than he. To please 
the princes, he must direct his imperial squadrons against 
mice, while the rats gnaw his possessions. — I know he often 
wishes himself dead, rather than to be any longer the soul of 
such a crippled body. {The^/ Jill.) It will just go once more 
round. And when our iDlood runs low, like this flask ; when 
we pour out its last ebbing drop {empties the wine drop by drop 
into his goblet), what then shall be our cry 1 

George. Freedom for ever ! 

Goetz. Freedom for ever ! 

All. Freedom for ever ! 

Goetz. And if that survive us we can die happy ; for our 
spirits shall see our children's children, and their emperor 
happy! Did the servants of princes show the same filial 
attachment to their masters as you to me — did their masteri? 
serve the emperor as I would serve him 



George. Things would be widely different. 

GoETZ. Not so much so !v«? it would apjoar. Have I not 
known worthy men among the princes ? And can the race 
be extinct ? Men, happy in their own minds and in their 
subjects, who could bear a free, noble brother m their neigh- 
bourhood without harbouring either fear or envy; whose 
hearts expanded when they saw their table surrounded 
by their free equals, and who did not think the knights 
unfit companions till they had degraded themselves by courtly 

George. Have you known such princes ? 

GoETZ. Ay, truly. As long as I live I shall recollect 
how the Landgrave of Hanau made a grand hunting-party, 
and the princes and free feudatories dined under the open 
heaven, and the country-people all thronged to see them ; it 
was no selfish masquerade instituted for his own private 
pleasure or vanity. — ^To see the great round-headed peasant 
lads and the pretty brown girls, the sturdy hinds, and the 
venerable old men, a crowd of happy faces, all as merry as 
if they rejoiced in the splendour of their master, which h^ 
shared with them under God's free sky ! 

George. He must have been as good a master as you. 

GoETZ. And may we not hope that many such wall rule 
together some future day, to whom reverence to the emperor, 
peace and friendship with their neighbours, and the love of 
their vassals, shall be the best and dearest family treasure 
handed down to their children's children ? Every one will 
then keep and improve his ovm, instead of reckoning nothing 
as gain that is not stolen from his neighbours. 

George. And should we have no more forays ? 

GoETZ. Would to God there were no restless spirits in 
all Germany ! — we should still have enough to do ! We 
would clear the mountains of wolves, and bring our peaceable 
laborious neighbour a dish of game from the wood, and eat it 
together. Were that not full employment, we would join 
our brethren, and, like cherubims with flaming swords, defend 
the frontiers of the empire against those wolves the Turks, 
and those foxes the French, and guard for our beloved em- 
peror both extremities of his extensive empire. That would 
be a life, George ! To risk one's head for the safety of ali 
Germany. (George sprmys w^.) Whither away? 



[act in 

George. Alas ! I forgot we were besieged — ^besieged by 
that Tery emperor; and before we can expose our lives in | 
his defence, we must risk them for our liberty. 1 

GoETZ. Be of good cheer. 

Enter Lerse. 

Lebse. Freedom! freedom! The cowardly poltroons — 
the hesitating, irresolute asses. You are to depart with men, 
weapons, horses, and armour; provisions you are to leave 

GoETZ. They will hardly find enough to exercise their jaws. 
Lerse {aside to Goetz). Have you hidden the plate and 
money ? 

Goetz. No ! Wife, go with Lerse ; he has something to 
tell thee. \Exennt^ 

SCENE XIX. The Court of the Castle. 
George {in the stable. Sings, ^ 

An urchin once, as I have heard, 

Hal ha! 
Had caught and caged a little hira 

Sa! sa! 

Hal ha I 

Sa! sa! 

He viewed the prize with heart elate. 
Ha! ha! 

Thrust in his hand — ah treacherous fat 
Sa! sa! 
Ha! ha! 
Sa ! sa ! 

Away the titmouse wing'd its flight 
Ha! ha! 

And laugh *d to scorn the silly wigh 
Sa! sa! 
Ha! ha! 
Sal sal 

Enter Goetz. 
Goetz. How goes it 

G.20RGE [brings out his horse), .all saddled! 

QoETZ. Thou art quick. 

George:. As the bird escaped from the oago. 

sc. XX.] 



Enter all the besieged, 
GoETZ. Have you all your rifles ? Not yet ! Go, take 
the best from the armoury, 'tis all one; we'll ride on m 

Geokge {sings), 

Hal ha! 
Sa ! sa I 
Hal ha! 

SCENE XX. Armoury. 

Two TuooPERS choosing guns. 

First Trooper. I'll have this one. 

Second Trooper. And I this — -but yonder's a better. 

First Trooper. Never mind — make haste. 

\_Tumult and firing without. 

Second Trooper. Hark! 

First Trooper [springs to the window). Good heavens, 
they are murdering our master ! He is unhorsed ! George is 
down ! 

Second Trooper. How shall we get off? Over the 
wall by the walnut-tree, and into the field. \JExit. 

First Trooper. Lerse keeps his ground ; I will to him. 
If they die, I will not survive them. \_Exit. 



SCENE ir An Inn in, the. city of Heilhronn. 
GoETZ {solus), 

Qoetz. I am like the evil spirit whom the capucniu 
conjured into a sack. I fret and labour, but all in vain. 
The perjured villains ! {Enter Elizabeth.) What news, 
Elizabeth, of ray dear, my trusty followers ? 



[act ly. 

Elizabeth. Nothing certain: some are slain, some are 
prisoners ; no one could or would tell me further particulars. 

GoETZ. Is this th^ reward of fidelity, of filial obedience? 

That it may bo well with thee, and that thy days may 

be long in the land 

Elizabeth. Dear husband, murmur not against our 
heavenly Father. They have their reward. It was bom 
with them — a noble and generous heart. Even in the dun- 
geon they are free. Think now of appearing before the 
imperial commissioners; their heavy gold chains become 

GoETZ. As a necklace becomes a sow ! I should like to 
see George and Lerse in fetters ! 

Elizabeth. It were a sight to make angels weep. 

GoETZ. I would not weep — I would clench my teeth, and 
gnaw my lip in fury. What 1 in fetters ! Had ye but loved 

me less, dear lads ! I could never look at them enough. 

What! to break their word pledged in the name of the 
emperor ! 

Elizabeth. Put away these thoughts. Reflect; you 
must appear before the council — ^you are in no mood to meet 
them, and I fear the worst. 

Goetz. What harm can they do me ? 

Elizabeth. Here comes the serjeant. 

Goetz. What ! the ass of justice that carries the sacks to 
the mill and the dung to the field ? What now? 

Enter Serjeant. 
Serjeant. The lords commissioners are at the Counoil- 
House, and require your presence. 
Goetz. I come. 
Serjeant. I am to escort you. 
Goetz. Too much hono^or. 
Elizabeth. Be but cooi. 

Goetz. Fear nothing. [ExeunL 

SCENE II. The Council-House at Heilhronn. 

The Imperial Commissioners seated at a table. Th^ 
Captain and the Magistrates of the city attending, 

Mag3 strate. In pursuance of your order, we have col- 

6C. II. J 


lected the stoutest and most determined of our citizens. They 
are at hand, in order, at a nod from you, to seize Ber- 

CoMMissioNEE. We shall have much pleasure m com* 
municating to his imperial majesty the zeal with which you 
have obeyed his illustrious commands. — Are they artizans ? 

Magistrate. Smiths, coopers, and carpenters, men with 
hands hardened by labour ; and resolute here. 

[^Points to his breast, 

CoMMissiONEE. 'Tis well ! 

Miter Serjeant. 
Serjeant. Goetz von Berlichingen waits without. 
Commissioner. Admit him. 

Miter Goetz. 

GoETZ. God save you, sirs ! What would you with me . 
Commissioner. First, that you consider where you are; 
and in w^hose presence. 
Goetz. By my faith, I know you right well, sirs. 
Commissioner. You acknowledge allegiance. 
Goetz. With all my heart. 

Commissioner. Be seated. [^Points to a stool. 

Goetz. What, down there ? I'd rather stand. That stool 
smells so of poor sinners, as indeed does the whole apartment. 

Commissioner. Stand, then. 

Goetz. To business, if you please. 

Commissioner. We shall proceed in due order. 

Goetz. I am glad to hear it. Would you had always 
done so. 

Commissioner. You know how you fell into our hands, 
and are a prisoner at discretion. 

Goetz. What will you give me to forget it ? 

Commissioner. Could I give you modesty, I should better 
your affairs. 

Goetz. Better my affairs ! could you but do that ? To 
repair is more difficult than to destroy. 

Secretary. Shall I put all this on record ? 

Commissioner. Only what is to the purpose. 

Goetz. As far as I'm concerned you may print every 
word of it. 

Commissioner. You fell into the power of the emperor^ 
whose paternal goodness got the betterof his justice, and, instead 



[act IV. 

of throwing you into a dungeon, ordered you to repair to hits 
beloved city of Heilbronn. You gave your knightly parole to 
appear, and await the termination in all humiiiiy. 

GoETZ. Well ; I am here, and await it. 

Commissioner. And we are here to intimate to you his 
Imperial Majesty's mercy and clemency. He is pleased to 
forgive your rebellion, to release you from the ban and all 
Avell-merited punishment; provided you do, with becoming 
humility, receive his bounty, and subscribe to the articles 
Avhich shall be read unto you. 

GoETZ. I am his majesty's faithful servant, as ever. One 
word, ere you proceed. My people — where are they ? What 
will be done with them ? 

Commissioner. That concerns you not. 

GoETz. So may the emperor turn his face from you in the 
hour of your need. They were my comrades, and are so now. 
What have you done with them ? 

Commissioner. We are not bound to account to you. 

GoETZ. Ah ! I forgot that you are not even pledged to 
perform what you have promised, much less — 

Commissioner. Our business is to lay the articles before 
you. Submit yourself to the emperor, and you may find a 
way to petition for the life and freedom of your comrades. 

GoETZ. Your paper. 

Commissioner. Secretary, read it. 

Secretary (reads). "I, Goetz of Berlichingen, make 
public acknowledgment, by these presents, that I, having 
lately risen in rebellion against the emperor and empire—" 

GoETZ. 'Tis false ! I am no rebel, I have committed no 
offence against tbo emperor, and with the empire I have no 

Commissioner. Be silent, and hear further. 

Goetz. I will hear no further. Let any one arise and 
bear witness. Have 1 ever taken one step against the em- 
peror, or against the house of Austria ? Has not the whole 
tenor of my conduct proved that I feel better than any one 
else what all Germany owes to its head ; and especially what 
the free knights and feudatories owe to their liege lord the 
emperor ? I should be a villain could I be induced to subscribe 
that paper. 

Commissioneb. Yet we have strict orders to try and per- 

sc. II.] 



suade you by fair means^ or, in case of your refusal, to throw 
you into prison. 

GoETZ. Into prison ! — Me ? 

Commissioner. Where you may expect your fate from 
the hands of justice, since you -wiil not take it from those of 

Goetz. To prison ! You ahuse the imperial power ! To 
prison ! That was not the emperor's command. What, ye 
traitors, to dig a pit for me, and hang out your oath, your 
knightly honour as the bait ! To promise me permission to 
ward myself on paiole, and then again to break your treaty ! 

Commissioner. We owe no faith to robbers. 

Goetz. Wert thou not the representative of my sovereign, 
whom I respect even in the vilest counterfeit, thou shouldst 
swallow that word, or choke upon it. I was engaged in an 
honourable feud. Thou mightest thank God, and magnify 
thyself before the world, hadst thou ever done as gallant a 
deed as that with which I now stand charged. ( The Commis- 
sioner makes a sign to the Magistrate of Heilbronn, who 
rings a hell.) Not for the sake of paltry gain, not to wrest 
followers or lands from the weak and the defenceless, have I 
sallied forth. To rescue my page and defend my own person — 
see ye any rebellion in that ? The emperor and his magnates, 
reposing on their pillows, would never have felt our need. I 
have, God be praised, one hand left, and I have done well to 
use it. 

Enter a party of Artizans armed with halberds and swords. 
Goetz. What means this ? 

Commissioner. You will not listen. — Seize him ! 

Goetz. Let none come near me who is not a very Hun- 
garian ox. One salutation from my iron fist shall cure him 
of head-ache, tooth-ache, and every other ache under the wide 
heaven! {They rush upon him. Tie strikes one down; and 
snatches a sword from another. They stand aloof) Come on! 
come on! I should like to become acquainted with tli(? 
bravest among you. 

Commissioner. Surrender! 

Goetz. With a sword in my hand! Know ye not that it 
iepends but upon myself to make way through al these hares 
and gain the open field ? But I will teach you how a man 
should keep his word. Promise me but free ward, and I will 
give up my sword, and am again your prisoner. 



[act IV. 

Commissioner. Kow ! Would you treat with the em- 
peror, sword in hand ? 

GoETZ. God forbid ! — only with you and your worthy 
fraternity ! You may go home, good people ; you are only 
losing your time, and here there is nothing to be got but 

Commissioner. Seize him ! What ! does not your love 
for the emperor supply you with courage? 

GoETZ. No more than the emperor supplies them with 
plaister for the woimds their courage would earn them. 

Enter Serjeant, hastily. 

Officer. The warder has just discovered from the castle- 
tower, a troop of more than two hundred horsemen hastening 
towards the town. Unperceived by us, they have pressed 
forward from behind the hill, and threaten our walls. 

Commissioner. Alas ! alas ! What can this mean ? 

A Soldier enters. 

Soldier. Francis of Sickingen waits at the drawbridge, 
and informs you that he has heard, how perfidiously you 
have broken your word to his brother-in-law, and how the 
Council of Heilbronn have aided and abetted in the treason. 
He is now come to insist upon justice, and if refused it, 
threatens, within an hour, to fire the four quarters of your 
town, and abandon it to be plundered by his vassals. 

GoETz. My gallant brother ! 

Commissioner. Withdraw, Goetz. {Exit Goetz.) What 
is to be done ? 

Magistrate. Have compassion upon us and our town! 
Sickingen is inexorable in his wrath; he will keep his word. 

Commissioner. Shall we forget what is due to ourselves 
and the emperor ? 

Captain. If we had but men to enforce it ; but situated 
as we are, a show of resistance would only make matters 
worse. It is better for us to yield. 

Magistrate. Let us apply to Goetz to put in a good word 
for us X feel as though I saw the town already in flames. 

Commissioner. Let Goetz approach. {Enter Goetz.) 

Goetz. What now? 

Commissioner. Thou wilt do well to dissuade thy 
brother-in-law from his rebellious interference. Instead of 

sc. III.^ 



rescuing thee, he will only plunge thee deeper in destruction, 
and become the companion of thy fall ! 

GoETZ (^sees Elizabeth at the door^ and speahs to her aside). 
Go ; tell him instantly to break in and force his way hither, 
but to spare the town. As for these rascals, if they offer any 
resistance, let him use force. I care not if I lose my life, 
provided they are all knocked on the head at the same time. 

SCENE III. A large hall in the Council- House, heset 
by Sickingen's Troops, 

Enter Sickingen and Goetz. 

GoETZ. That was help from heaven. How earnest thou 
60 opportunely and unexpectedly, brother ? 

SiCKiNGEN. Without witchcraft. I had dispatched two 
or three messengers to learn how it fared with thee ; when 
I heard of the perjury of these fellows, I set out instantly, 
and now we have them safe. 

Goetz. I ask nothing but knightly ward upon my 

SiCKiNGEN. You are too noble. Not even to avail 
yourself of the advantage which the honest man has jver the 
perjurer! They are in the wrong, and we v/ill not give them 
cushions to sit upon. They have shamefully abused the 
imperial authority, and, if I know anything of the emperor, 
you might safely insist upon more favourable terms. You ask 
too little. 

GoETZ. I have ever been content with little. 

SiCKiNGEN. And therefore that little has always been 
denied thee. My proposal is, that they shall release your 
servants, and permit you all to return to your castle on 
parole — you can promise not to leave it till the emperor's 
pleasure be known. You will be safer there than here. 

GoETZ. They will say my property is escheated to the 

SiCKiNGEN. Then we will answer thou canst dwell there, 
and keep it for his service till he restores it to thee 
again. Let them wriggle like eels in the net, they shall not 
escape us ! They may talk of the imperial dignity — of their 
commission. We will not mind that. I know the emperor, 
and have some influence with him. He has ever wished tci 



f ACT rv. 

Lftve thee in his service. You will not be long in your castle 
without being summoned to serve him. 

GoETZ. God grant it ere I forget the use of arms ! 

SiCKiNGEN. Valour can never be forgotten, as it can 
never be learnt. Fear nothing ! When thy affairs are 
settled, I will repair to court, where my enterprises begin, to 
ripen. Good fortune seems to smile on them. I want only 
to sound the emperor's mind. The towns of Triers and 
Pfalz as soon expect that the sky should fall, as that I shall 
come down upon their heads. But I will come like a hail 
storm ! and if I am successful, thou shalt soon be brother 
to an elector. I had hoped for thy assistance in this under- 

GoETZ {looTis at Ms hand) . O ! that explains the dream 
I had the night before I promised Maria to Weislingen. I 
thought he vowed eternal fidelity, and held my iron hand 
so fast that it loosened from the arm. Alas ! I am at this 
moment more defenceless than when it w^as shot away. 
Weislingen ! Weislingen ! 

SiCKiNGEN. Forget the traitor ! We will thwart his 
plans, and undermine his authority, till shame and remorse 
shall gnaw him to death. I see, I see the downfall of oui 
enemies. — Goetz — only half a year more ! 

GoETZ. Thy soul soars high ' I know not why, but for 
some time past no fair prospects have dawned upon me. I 
have been ere now in sore distress — I have been a prisoner 
before — but never did I experience such a depression. 

SiCKiNGEN. Fortune gives courage. Come, let us to 
the bigwigs. They have had time enough to deliberate, let 
us take the trouble upon ourselves. [_Exewit, 

SCENE IV. The Castle of Adelaide — Augshurg. 

Adelaide and Weislingen discovered, 
Adelaide. This is detestable. 

Weislingen. I have gnashed my teeth. So good a plan 
—so wxU foUow^ed out — and after all to leave him in pos- 
session of his castle ! That cursed Sickingen ! 

Adelaide. The council should not have consented. 

Weislingen. They were in the net. What else could 

60. ly'^ 



they do ? Sickmgen threatened them with fire and sword, — 
the haughty, vindictive man ! I hate him ! Plis power 
waxes like a mountain torrent — ^let it but gain a few brooks, 
and others come pouring to its aid. 
Adelaide. Have they no emperor? 

Weislingen. My dear wife, he waxes old and feeble ; 
he is only the shadow of what he was. When he heard what 
had been done, and I and the other counsellors murmured 
indignantly: ''Let them alone!" said he j " I can spai*e my 
old Goetz his little fortress, and if he remains quiet there, 
what have you to say against him?" We spoke of the wel- 
fare of the state: " Oh," said he, "that I had always had 
counsellors who would have urged my restless spirit to con- 
sult more the happiness of individuals !" 

Adelaide. He has lost the spirit of a prince ! 

Weislingen. We inveighed against Sickingen ! — " He is 
my faithful servant," said he ; " and if he has not acted by 
my express order, he has performed what I wished better than 
my plenipotentiaries, and I can ratify what he has done as 
well after as before." 

Adelaide. 'Tis enough to drive one mad. 

Weislingen. Yet I have not given up all hope. Goetz 
is on parole to remain quiet in his castle. 'Tis impossible 
for him to keep his promise, and we shall soon have some 
new cause of complaint. 

Adelaide. That is the more likely, as we may hope that 
the old emperor will soon leave the world, and Charles, his 
gallant successor, will display a more princely mind. 

Weislingen. Charles ! He is neither chosen nor crowned. 

Adelaide. Who does not expect and hope for that event? 

Weislingen. You have a great idea of his abilities ; one 
might almost think you looked on him with partial eyes. 

Adelaide. You insult me, Weislingen. For what do 
you take me ? 

Weislingen. I do not mean to offend ; but I cannot be 
silent upon the subject. Charles's marked attentions to you 
disquiet me. 

Adelaide. And do I receive them api i>. 

Weislingen. You are a woman ; and no woman tiates 
those who pay their court to her. 

Adelaide. This from you ? 

a I 


[act IV. 

Weislingen. It cuts me to the heart — the dreadful 
thought — Adelaide. 

Adelaide. Can I not cure thee of this folly? 

Weislingen. If thou would'st — Thou canst leave the 

Adelaide. But upon what pretence? Art thou not 
here ? Must I leave you and all my friends, to shut myself 
up with the owls in your solitary castle ? No, Weislingen, 
that wiU« never do ; be at rest, thou knowest I love thee. 

Weislingen. That is my anchor so long as the cable 
holds. [_jExiL 

Adelaide. Ah ! Is it come to this ? This was yet vrant- 
ing. The projects of my bosom are too great to brook 
thy interruption. Charles — the great, the gallant Charles — 
the future emperor — shall he be the only man unrewarded by 
my favour ? Think not, Weislingen, to hinder me — else shalt 
thou to earth ; my way lies over thee ! 

Enter Fkancis {with a letter), 

Francis. Here, gracious lady. 

Adelaide. Hadst thou it from Charles' own hand ? 

Francis. Yes. 

Adelaide. What ails thee? Thou look'st so mournful! 

Francis. It is your pleasure that I should pine away, 
and waste my fairest years in agonizing despair. 

Adelaide {aside). I pity him ; and how little would ic 
cost me to make him happy. {Aloud.) Be of good courage, 
youth ! I know thy love and fidelity, and will not be un- 

Francis {with stifled hreath). If thou wert capable of 
ingratitude, I could not survive it. There boils not a drop 
of blood in my veins but what is thine own — I have not a 
fiingle feeling but to love and to serve thee ! 

Adelaide. Dear Francis ! 

rRANcis. ^ou flatter me. {Bursts into tears.) Does mv 
attachment deserve only to be a stepping stool to another — 
to see all your thoughts fixed upon Charles.^ 

Adelaide. You know not what you wish, and still less 
what you say. 

Francis {stamping with vexation and rage). No more 
'^•ill I be your slave, your go-between ! 

A..DiiL4irE. Francis, you forget yourself. 

i?3. V.^ 



Francis. To sacrifice my beloved master and mysel f 
Adelaide. Out of my sight ! 
Francis. Gracious lady ! 

Adelaide. Go, betray to thy beloved master the secret 
of my soLil ! Fool that I was to take thee for what thou art 

Francis. Dear lady ! you know how I love you. 

Adelaide. And thou, who wast my friend — so near my 
heart — go, betray me. 

Francis. Rather would I tear my heart from my breast f 
Forgive me, gentle lady! my heart is too full, my sensef 
desert me. 

Adelaide. Thou dear, affectionate boy ! {She takes him 
hy both hands^ draws him toioards her and kisses him. He 
throws himself weeping upon her neck.) Leave me ! 

Francis {his voice choked hy tears). Heavens ! 

Adelaide. Leave me ! The walls are traitors. Leave 
me ! {Breaks from him.) Be but steady in fidelity and love, 
and the fairest reward is thine. \_Exit. 

Francis. The fairest reward ! Let me but live till that 
moment — I could murder my father, were he an obstacle to 
my happiness ! [Exit. 

SCENE V. Jaxthausen. 

Goetz seated at a table with writing materials. Elizabeth 
beside him with her work. 

Goetz. This idle life does not suit me. My confinement 
becomes more irksome every day ; I would I could sleep, or 
persuade myself that quiet is agreeable. 

Elizabeth. Continue writing the account of thy deeds 
which thou hast commenced. Give into the hands of thy 
friends evidence to put thine enemies to shame ; make a noblo 
posterity acquainted with thy real character. 

Goetz. Alas ! writing is but busy idleness ; it wearies 
me. While I am writing what I have done, I lament tb* 
misspent time in which I might do more. 

Elizabeth {takes the writing). Be not impatient. Thou 
hast come to thy first imprisonment at Heilbronn. 

2 I £ 



[act IV."^ 

GoETZ. That was always an unlucky place to me. 

Elizabeth (reads), "There were even some of the 
confederates who told me that I had acted foolishly in ap- 
pearing before my bitterest enemies, who, as I might suspect, 
would not deal justly with me. "And what didst thou answer: 
Write on. 

Goetz. I said, Have I not often risked life and limb 
for the welfare and property of others, and shall I not do so 
for the honour of my knightly word 

Elizabeth. Thus does fame speak of thee. 

Goetz. They shall not rob me of my honour. They have 
taken all else from me — ^property — liberty — everything. 

Elizabeth. I happened once to stand in an inn near 
the Lords of Miltenberg and Singlingen, who knew me not. 
Then I was joyful as at the birth of my first-born; for 
they extolled thee to each other, and said, — He is the mii-ror 
of knighthood, noble and merciful in prosperity, dauntless 
and true in misfortune. 

Goetz. Let them show me the man to whom I have 
broken my word. Heaven knows, my ambition has ever been 
to labour for my neighbour more than for myself, and to 
acquire the fame of a gallant and irreproachable knight, 
rather than principalities or power ; and, God be praised ! I 
have gained the meed of my labour. 

Enter George and Lerse with game, 

Goetz. Good luck to my gallant huntsmen ! 

George. Such have we become from gallant troopers. 
Boots can easily be cut down into buskins. 

Lerse. The chase is always something — 'tis a kind of 

George. Yes ; if we were not always crossed by these 
imperial gamekeepers. Don't you recollect, my lord, how 
you prophesied we should become huntsmen when the world 
was turned topsy-turvy? We are become so now without 
waiting for that. 

Goetz. 'Tis all the same, we are pushed out of our 

Gjsorge. These are wonderful times ! For eight days a 
(Jreadful comet has been seen — all Germany fears that it 
portends the death of the emperor, who is very ill. 

C^OETZ. Very ill ! Then our career draws to a close. 

sc. I.j 



Lehse. And in the neighbourhood there are terrible 
commotions ; the peasants have made a formidable insurrec- 

GoETZ. "Where ? 

Lerse. In the heart of Swabia; they are plundering, 
bui-ning, and slaying. I fear they will sack the whole 

Geokge. It is a horrible warfare ! They have already 
risen in a hundred places, and daily increase in number. A 
hurricane too has lately torn up whole forests ; and in the 
place where the insurrection began, two fiery swords have 
been seen in the sky crossing each other. 

GoETZ. Then some of my poor friends and neighboiu'S no 
doubt suffer innocently. 

Geoege. Alas ! that we are pent up thus ! 



SCENE I. A Village phnidered hy the insurgent Peasantry. 
Shrieks and tiimidt. lVo7nen, old Men, and Children fly 
across the Stage, 

Old Man. Away ! away ! let us fly from the murdering 

Woman. Sacred heaven! How blood-red is the sky! 
how blood-red the setting sun ! 
Another. That must be fire. 
A Third. My husband ! my husband I 
Old jMan. Away ! away ! To the wood ! \_Exeit 

Enter Link and Insurgents. 
Link. Whoever opposes you, dowTi with him I The 
village is ours. Let none of the booty be injured, none be 
left behind. Plimder clean and quickly. We must soon set 
tire— — 

Enter Metzler, coming doicn the hill. 
Metzleb. How do things go with you, Link ? 



[act v. 

Link. Merrily enougli, as you see ; you are just in time 
for the fun. — Whence come you? 

Metzlek. From Weinsberg. There was a jubilee. 
Link. How so ? 

Metzler. We stabbed them all, in such heaps, it was a 
joy to see it ! 

Link. All whom ? 

Metzler. Dietrich von Weiler led up the dance. The 
fool ! We were all raging round the chiu-ch steeple. He 
looked out and wished to treat with us. — Baf ! A ball through 
his head! Up we rushed like a tempest, and the fellow 
soon made his exit by the window. 

Link. Huzza ! 

Metzler {to the peasants). Ye dogs, must I find you legs? 
How they gape and loiter, the asses ! 

Link. Set fire ! Let them roast in the flames ! forward ! 
Push on, ye dolts. 

Metzler. Then we brought out Helfenstein, Eltershofen, 
thirteen of the nobility — eighty in all. They were led out 
on the plain before Heilbronn. What a shouting and jubilee 
among our lads as the long row of miserable sinners passed 
by ; they stared at each other, and, Heaven and earth ! we 
surrounded them before they were aware, and then dispatched 
them all with our pikes. 

Link. Why was I not there ? 

Metzler. Never in all my life did I see such fun. 

Link. On ! on ! Bring all out ! 

Peasant. All's clear. 

Link. Then fire the village at the four comers. 

Metzler. 'Twill make a fine bonfire ! Hadst thou but 
seen how the fellows tumbled over one another, and croaked 
like frogs ! It warmed my heart like a cup of brandy. 
One Bexinger was there, a fellow, with a white plume, 
and flaxen locks, who, when he went out hunting, used to 
drive us before him like dogs, and with dogs. I had not 
caught sight of him all the while, when suddenly his fooFc 
visage looked me full in the face. Push ! went the speai* be- 
tween his ribs, and there he lay stretched on all-fours abovr 
his companions. The fellows lay kicking in a heap like the 
hares that used to be driven together at their grand himtiu^^ 

sc. II.*! 



Link. It smokes finely already ! 

Metzler. Yonder it burns ! Come, let us with the booty 
to the main body. 

Link. Where do they halt ? 

Metzler. Between this and Heilbronn. They wish to 
choose a captain whom every one will respect, for we are after 
all only their equals; they feel this, and turn restive. 

Link. Whom do they propose ? 

Metzler. Maximilian Stumf, or Goetz von Berlichingen. 

Link. That would be well. 'Twould give the thing credit ^ 
should Goetz accept it. He has ever been held a worthy 
independent knight. Away, away! We march towards 
Heilbronn ! Pass the word. 

Metzler. The fire will light us a good part of the way. 
Hast thou seen the great comet ? 

Link. Yes. It is a dreadful ghastly sign ! As we march 
by night we can see it well. It rises about one o'clock. 

Metzler. And is visit)le but for an hour and a quarter, 
like an arm brandishing a sword, and bloody red ! 

Link. Didst thou mark the three stars at the sword's hilt 
and point ? 

Metzler. And the broad haze-coloured stripe illumi- 
nated by a thousand streamers like lances, and between them 
little swords ? 

Link. I shuddered with horror. The sky was pale red 
streaked with ruddy flames, and among them grisly figures 
with shaggy hair and beards. 

Metzler, Did you see them too? And how they all 
swam about as though in a sea of blood, and struggled in 
confusion, enough to turn one's brain. 

Link. Away! away! [^Eojeunt 

SCENE II. Open country/. In the distance two 
villages and an ahhey are hurning. 

Kohl, Wild, Maximilian Stumf, Insurgents, 

Stume. You cannot ask me to be your leader ; it wero 
bad for you and for me : I am a vassal of the Palsgrave, and 
how shall I make war against my liege lord ? Besides, you 
would always suspect I did not act from my heart. 

Kohl. We loiew well thou wouldst make some 8>ccuse. 




Enter Geokge. Lerse, cuicl Goetz. 
GoETZ. "VMiat T^-ould you with me ? 
Kohl. You must be our captain. 

Goetz. How can I break my knightly word to the em- 
peror. I am under the ban ; I cannot quit my territory. 
Wild. That's no excuse. 

Goetz. And were I free, and you wanted to deal with the 
lords and nobles as you did at Weinsberg, laying waste the 
country round with fire and sword, and should wish me to be 
an abettor of yom' shameless, barbarous doings, rather than 
be yom' captain, you should slay me like a mad dog ! 

Kohl. ^Miat has been done, cannot be undone. 

Stumf. That was just the misfortune, that they had no 
leader whom they honoured, and who could bridle their fury. 
I beseech thee, Goetz, accept the office ! The princes will be 
grateful; all Germany will thank thee. It will be for the 
weal and prosperity of all. The country and its inhabitants 
will be preserved. 

Goetz. Why dost not thou accept it ? 

Stumf. I have given them reasons for my refusal. 

Kohl. We have no time to waste in useless speeches. 
Once for all ! Goetz, be our chief, or look to thy castle and 
thy head ! Take two hom's to consider of it. Guard him ! 

Goetz. To what purpose r I am as resolved now as I 
shall ever be. "Why have ye risen up in arms? If to recover 
your rights and freedom, why do you plunder and lay waste 
the land : Will you abstain from such evil doings, and act as 
true men who know what they want ? Then will I be your 
chief for eight days, and help you in your lawfid and orderly 

Wild. What has been done was done in the first heat, 
and thy interference is not needed to prevent it for the 

Kohl. Thou must engage with us at least for a quarter 
of a year. 

Stumf, Say four weeks, that will satisfy both parties. 
Goetz. Then be it so. 
Kohl. Your hand ! 

Goetz. But you must promise to send the treaty you bave 
made with me in writing to aU your troops, aad to punish 
severely those who infringe it. 

sc. irr,] 



Wild Well, it shall be done. 

GoETZ. Then I bind myself to you for four weeks. 

Stumf. Good fortune to you ! In whatever thou doest, 
epare our noble lord the Palsgrave. 

Kohl {aside). See that none speak to him without our 

GoETZ. Lerse, go to my wife. Protect her; you shall 
fioon have news of me. 

i_jEa?6ww^GoETZ, Stumf, George, Lerse, and 5ome Peasants. 
Enter Metzler, Link, and their Jolloivers, 
Metzler. Who talks of a treaty ? What's the use of a 
treaty r 

Link. It is shameful to make any such bargain. 

Kohl. We know as well what we want as you ; and we 
may do or let alone what we please. 

WjLD. This raging, and burning, and murdering must 
have an end some day or other ; and by renouncing it just 
now, we gain a brave leader. 

Metzler. How ? An end ? Thou traitor ! why are we 
here but to avenge ourselves on our enemies, and enrich our- 
selves at their expense ? Some prince's slave has been tam- 
pering with thee. 

Kohl. Come, Wild, he is like a brute-beast. 

\_Exeunt Wild and Kohl. 

Metzler. Aye, go your way, no band will stick by you. 
The villains ! Link, we'll set on the others to burn Milten- 
berg yonder ; and if they begin a quarrel about the treaty, 
we'll cut off the heads of those that made it. 

Link. We have still the greater body of peasants on our 
side. \_Exeunt with Insurgents, 

SCENE III. A hill and prospect of the country. In the 
flat scene a Mill, A body of horsemen, 

Weislingen comes out of the Mill,, followed hy Francis 
and a Courier. 

Weislingen. My horse! Have you announced it to 
the other nobles ? 

Courier. At least seven standards will meet you in the 
wood behind Miltenberg. The peasants are marching in that 



direction. Couriers are dispatched on all sides ; the entire 
confederacy will soon be assembled. Our plan cannot fail ; 
and they say there is dissension among them. 

Wei SLING EX. So much the better. Francis ! 

Francis. Gracious sir ! 

Weislingen. Discharge thine errand pimctually. I bind 
it upon thy soul. Give her the letter. She shall from the 
court to my castle instantly. Thou must see her depart, and 
bring me notice of it. 

Francis. Your commands shall be obeyed. 

Weislingen. TeU her she shall go. {To the Courier) 
Lead us by the nearest and best road. 

Courier. We must go round ; all the rivers are swollen 
with the late heavy rains. 

SCENE IV. Jaxthausen, 

Elizabeth and Lerse. 

Lerse. Gracious lady, be comforted! 
Elizabeth. Alas ! Lerse, the tears stood in his eyes 
when he took leave of me. It is dreadful, dreadftil ! 
Lerse. He will return. 

Elizabeth. It is not that. When he went forth to gain 
honourable victories, never did grief sit heavy at my heart. 
I then rejoiced in the prospect of his return, which I now 

Lerse. So noble a man — 

Elizabeth. Call him not so. There lies the new misery. 
The miscreants! they threatened to murder his family and 
burn his castle. Should he return, gloomy, most gloomy shall 
I see his brow. His enemies will forge scandalous accusa- 
tions against him, which he will be unable to refute, 

Lerse. He will and can. 

Elizabeth. He has broken his parole : — Canst thou denV 

Lerse. No ! he was constrained ; what reason is there to 
condemn him ? 

Elizabeth. Malice seeks not reasons, but pretexts. He 
has become an ally of rebels, malefactors, and murderers 
he has become their chief, Say No to that. 

BC. T.J 



Leese. Cease to torment yourself and me. Have they 
act solemnly sworn to abjure all such doings as those at 
Weinsberg: Did I not myself hear them say, in remorse, that, 
had not that been done already, it never should have been 
done r !Must not the princes and nobles return him their 
best thanks for having undertaken the dangerous office of 
leading these unruly people, in order to restrain their rage, 
and to save so many lives and possessions : 

Elizabeth. Thou art an affectionate advocate. Should 
they take him prisoner, deal with him as with a rebel, and 
bring his grey hairs Lerse, I should go mad I 

Leese. Send sleep to refresh her body, dear Father of 
mankind, if thou deniest comfort to her soul I 

Elizabeth. George has promised to bring news, but 
he will not be allowed to do so. They are woKe than 
prisoners. Well I know they are watched like enemies. — 
The gaUant boy ! he would not leave his master. 

Lebse. The very heart within me bled as I left him. — 
Had you not needed my help, all- the terrors of grisly death 
should not have separated us. 

Elizabeth. I know not where Sickingen is. — Could I 
but send a message to Maria I 

Leese. Write, then : — I will take care that she receives it. 

SCENE V. A Village. 

Enter Goetz a?id Geoege. 

GoETZ. To horse, George! Quick! I see ^liltenberg in 
flames — Is it thus they keep the treaty r — Ride to them, tell 
them my purpose. — The murderous incendiaries — I renoimee 
them — Let them make a thieving gipsy their captain, not me! 
—Quick, George ! {Exit George.) Would that I were a 
thousand miles hence, at the bottom of the deepest dungeon 
in Turkey I — Could I but come off with honour from them I 
I have thwarted them every day, and told them the bit- 
terest truths, in the hope they might weary of me and let 
me go. 

Enter an Unknown, 
L'xKXOwx. God save you, gallant Sir ! 
GoETZ, I thank you ! What is your errand : Your name ? 



[act v. 

Unknown. My name does not concern my business. I 
come to tell you that your life is in danger. The insurgent 
leaders are weary of hearing from you such harsh language, 
and are resolved to rid themselves of you. Speak them fair, 
or endeavour to escape from them ; and God be with you ! 

*' {Exit, 

GoETZ. To quit life in this fashion, Goetz, to end thus ! 
But be it so — My death will be the clearest proof to the world 
that I have had nothing in common with the miscreants. 
Enter Insurgents, 

FiKST Insurgent. Captain, they are prisoners, they are 
slain ! 

GoETZ. Who ? 

Second Insurgent. Those who burned Miltenberg; a 
troop of confederate cavalry suddenly charged upon them 
from behind the hill. 

Goetz. They have their reward. George ! George ! 
They have taken him prisoner with the caitiffs — My* George ! 
my George I 

Enter Insurgents in confusion. 
Link. Up, sir captain, up ! — There is no time to lose 
— The enemy is at hand, and in force. 
GoETZ. Who burned Miltenberg ? 

Metzler. If you mean to pick a quarrel, we'll soon show 
you how we'll end it. 

Kohl. Look to your own safety and ours; — Up ! 

Goetz {to Metzler). Darest thou threaten me, thou 
scoundrel— — Thinkest thou to awe me, because thy garments 
are stained with the Count of Helfenstein s blood ? 

Metzler. Berlichingen ! 

Goetz. Thou mayest call me by my name, and my chil- 
dren will not be ashamed to hear it. 

IMetzler. Out upon thee, coward ? — Prince's slave ! 
{Goetz strikes him doivn — The others interpose,) 

Kohl. Ye are mad ! — ^The enemy are breaking in on all 
sides, and you quarrel ! 

Link. Av/ay! Away! — {Cries and tumult — The Insur^ 
gents fly across the Stage,) 

Enter Weislingen and Troopers. 

Weislingen. Pursue ! Pursue ! they fly ! — Stop neither 
for darkness nor rain. — I hear Goetz is among them ; look 


that he escape you not. Our friends say he is sorely wounded. 
\Eseeunt Troopers.) And when I have caught thee — it will 
be merciful secretly to execute the sentence of death in 
prison. Thus he perishes from the memory of man, and then, 
foolish heart, thou may'st beat more freely. 

SCENE VI. The front of a Gipsy -hut in a wild forest — 
Night, — A fire before the hut, at ivhich are seated the motner 
of the gipsies and a girl. 

Mother. Throw some fresh straw upon the thatch, 
daughter : There'll be heavy rain again to night. 

Enter a Gipsy-bot. 

Boy. a dormouse, mother ! and look ! two field mice I 

Mother. I'll skin them and roast them for thee, and thou 
shalt have a cap of their skins. Thou bleedest ! 

Boy. Dormouse bit me. 

MoTHEK. Fetch some dead wood, that the fire may burn 
bright when thy father comes : he will be wet through and 

Another gipsy-woman with a child at her haclc. 

First Woman. Hast thou had good luck ? 

Second Woman. Ill enough. The whole country is in an 
uproar, one's life is not safe a moment. Two villages are in 
a blaze. 

FiBST Woman. Is it fire that glares so yonder ? I have 
been watching it long. One is so accustomed now to fiery 
signs in the heavens. 

The Captain of the Gipsies enters with three of his gang. 

Captain. Heard ye the wild huntsman ? 

First Woman. He is passing over us now. 

Captain. How the hounds give tongue ! Wow ! Wow ! 

Second Man. How the whips crack ! 

Third Man. And the huntsmen cheer them — Hallo — ho ! 

Mother. 'Tis the devil's chase. 

Captain. We have been fishing in troubled waters. The 
peasants rob each other; there's no harm in our helping 

Second Woman. What hast thou got, Wolf? 
Wolf A hare and a capon, a spit, a bundle of linen, threo 
spoons, and a bridle. 



LAG'T v. 

Sticks. I have a blanket and a pair of boots, also a 
3int and tinder-box. 

Mother. All wet as mire, I'll dry them, give them here ' 

(^Trampling ivitJiout,) 

Captain. Hark ! — A horse ! Go see who it is. 

Enter Goetz on horseback. 

GoETZ. I thank thee, God! I see fire — they are gipsies. 
— My wounds bleed sorely — my foes are close behind me ! — 
Great God, this is a fearful end ! 

Captain. Is it in peace thou comest ? 

GoETZ. I crave help from you — My wounds exhaust me 
—assist me to dismount ! 

Captain. Help him ! — A gaUant warrior in look and 

WoLE {aside), 'Tis Goetz von Berlichingen ! 
Captain. Welcome ! welcome ! — All that we have is 

GoETZ. Thanks, thanks ! 

Captain. Come to my hut ! [Exeunt to the hut. 

SCENE VII. Inside the Hut. 

Captain, Gipsies, and Goetz. 

Captain. Call our mother — tell her to bring blood- 
wort and bandages. (Goetz unarms himself.) Here is my 
holiday doublet. 

Goetz. God reward you ! [The mother hinds his wounds. 

Captain. I rejoice that you are come. 

Goetz. Do you know me? 

Captain. Who does not know you, Goetz ? Our lives 
and heart's blood are yours. 

Enter Sticks. 

Sticks. Horsemen are coming through the wood. They 
are confederates. 

Captain, Your pursuers! They shall not harm you. 
Away, Sticks, call the others : we know the passes better 
than they. We shall shoot them ere they are aware of us. 

[Exeunt Captain and Men -Gipsies with their guns, 

Goetz (alone), O Emperor! Emperor! Robbers pro* 

go. xriii. ] 



tect thy children sharp firing r\ The wild foresters! 
Steady and true ! 

Enter Women. 
Women. Flee, flee ! The enemy has overpowered us. 
GoETZ. Where is my horse ? 
Women. Here ! 

GoETZ, ( Girds on his sword and mounts without his armour). 
For the last time shall you feel my arm. I am not so weak 
yet. " [_Exit. — Tumult. 

Women. He gallops to join our party. [Firing. 
Enter Wole. 

WoLE. Away ! Away ! All is lost. — The Captain is 
shot ! — Goetz a prisoner. 

\_The Wo .MEN scream and fly into the wood. 

SCENE Vni. Adelaide's Bed-chamher. 

Enter Adelaide with a letter, 

Adelaide. He or I ! The tyrant — to thi-eaten me ! 
We will anticipate him. Who glides through the anti- 
chamber? \_A low knock at the door.~\ Who is there? 

Fkancis {in a low voice). Open, gracious lady ! 

Adelaide. Francis ! He well deserves that I should 
admit him. [ Opens the door. 

Francis. {Throws himself on her neck.) My dear, my 
gracious lady ! 

Adelaide. What audacity! If any one should hear you? 
Francis. O — all — all are asleep. 
Adelaide. What wouldst thou ? 

Francis. I cannot rest. The threats of my master,— 
3^our fate, — my heart. 

Adelaide. He was incensed against me when you parted 
from him ? 

Francis. He was as I have never seen him. — To my 
castle, said he, she must — she shall go. 
Adelaide. And shall we obey? 
Francis. I know not, dear lady ! 

Adelaide. Thou foolish, infatuated boy ! Thou dost not 
3ipe where this will end. Here he knows I am in safety. 



[act. v. 

He has long- had designs on my freedom, and therefore -wishes 
to get me to his castle — there he will have power to use me 
as his hate shall dictate. 

Francis. He shall not ! 

Adelaide. Wilt thou prevent him ? 

Francis. He shall not ! 

Adelaide. I foresee the whole misery of my fate. He 
will tear me forcibly from his castle to immure me in a 

Francis. Hell and damnation ! 
Adelaide. Wilt thou rescue me ? 
Francis. Anything ! Everything ! 

Adelaide. {Throios herself weeping upon Ms neclc.) 
Francis ! O save me ! 

Francis. He shall fall. I will plant my foot upon his 

Adelaide. No violence ! You shall carry a submissive 
letter to him announcing obedience— Then give him this vial 
in his wine. 

Francis. Give it me ! Thou shalt be free ! 

Adelaide. Free I — And then no more shalt thou need 
to come to my chamber trembling and in fear. No more 
shall I need anxiously to say, " Away, Francis ! the morning 

SCENE IX. Street before the Prison at Heilhronn, 

Elizabeth and Lerse. 

Lerse. Heaven relieve your distress, gracious lady! 
Maria is come. 

Elizabeth. God be praised ! Lerse, we have sunk into 
dreadful misery. My worst forebodings are realized ! A 
prisoner — thrown as an assassin and malefactor into the 
deepest dungeon. 

Lerse. I know all. 

Elizabeth. Thou knowest nothing. Our distress is too 
—too great ! His age, his wounds, a slow fever — and, more 
than all, the despondency of his mind, to think that this 
shoiild be his end. 

GC. X.] 


Lehse. Aye, nnd that Welslingen should be r.ommis- 
sioner ! 

Elizabeth. Weislingen? 

Lerse. Thoy have acted with unheard-of severity. 
Metzler has been burnt alive — ^hundreds of his iissociate3 
broken upon the wheel, beheaded, quartered, and impaled. 
All the country round looks like a slaughter-house, where 
human flesh is cheap. 

Elizabeth. Weislingen commissioner ! O Heaven ! a 
ray of hope! Maria shall go to him: he cannot refuse her. 
lie had ever a compassionate heart, and when he sees hei 
whom he once loved so much, whom he has made so miserable 
— ^AVhere is she ? 

Lerse. Still at the inn. 

Elizabeth. Take me to her. She must away instantly. 
I fear the worst. \_Exeunt, 

SCENE X. An Apartment in Weislingen' s Castle. 

Weislingen alone. 

Weislingen. I am so ill, so weak — all my bones are 
hollow — this wretched fever has consumed their very marrow. 
No rest, no sleep, by day or night! and when I slumber, such 
fearful dreams ! Last night methought I met Goetz in the 
forest. He di-ew his sword, and defied me to combat. I 
grasped mine, but my hand failed me. He darted on me a 
look of contempt, sheathed his weapon, and passed on. Ho 
is a prisoner ; yet I tremble to think of him. Miserable 
man ! Thine own voice has condemned him ; yet thou trem- 
blest like a malefactor at his very shadow. And shall he 
die ? Goetz ! Goetz ! we mortals are not om* own masters. 
Fiends have empire over us, and shape our actions after their 
own hellish will, to goad us to perdition. {Sits doicn.) 
Weak ! Weak ! Why are my nails so blue ? A cold, clammy, 
wasting, sweat drenches every limb. Everything swims 
before my eyes. Could I but sleep ! Alas ! 

Enter Maria. 

Weislingen. Mother of God ! Leave me in peace— 
.cave me in peace ! This spectre was yet wanting. Maria is 

2 K 


[act. V 

dead, and she appears to the traitor. Leave me, blessed 
spirit ! I am wretched enough. 

Mabta. Weislingen, I am no spirit. I am Maria. 

Weislingen. It is her voice ! 

Mahia. I corns to beg my brother's life of thee. He is 
guiltless, however culpable he may appear. 

Weislingen. Hush ! Maria — Angel of heaven as thou 
art, thou bringest with thee the torments of hell ! Speak no 
more ! 

Maria. And must my brother die ? Weislingen, it is 
horrible that I should have to tell thee he is guiltless ; that 
I should be compelled to come as a suppliant to restrain thee 
from a most fearful murder. Thy soul to its inmost depths 
is possessed by evil powers. Can this be Adelbert ? 

Weislingen. Thou seest — ^the consuming breath of 
the grave hath swept over me — my strength sinks in death — 
I die in misery, and thou comest to drive me to despair — 
Could I but tell thee all, thy bitterest hate would melt to 
sorrow and compassion. Oh Maria ! Maria ! 

Maria. Weislingen, my brother is pining in a dungeon — 
The anguish of his wmmds — his age — O hadst thou the heart 
^o bring his grey hairs Weislingen, we should despair. 

YfEiSLiNGEN. Enough! (^Rings a hand-hell.) 

Enter Francis, in great agitation, 

Francis. Gracious sir ^ 

Weislingen. Those papers, Francis. {He gives them. 
Weislingen tears open a packet, and shoivs Maria a paper. ) 
Here is thy brother's death-warrant signed ! 

Maria. God in heaven ! 

Weislingen. And thus I tear it. He shall live ! But can 
I restore what I have destroyed.^ Weep not so, Francis; 
Dear youth, my wretchedness lies deeply at thy heart. 

[Francis throivs himself at his feet., and clasps his knees. 

Maria {apart). He is ill—very ill. The sight of him 
rends my heart. I loved him! And now that I again 
approach him, I feel how dearly— 

Weislingen. Francis, arise and cease to weep — I may 
recover ! While there is life, there is hope, 

Francis. You cannot ! You must die ! 

Weislingen. Must ? 

Fkancis {beside himself),, roioon ! poison ! — from your 
Vvife ! I — I gyve it. \Ilushes oisL 

6C. X. 1 


nVeislingex. Follow him, Zslaria — he is desperate. 

lExit Maim A. 

Poison fironi my wife ! Alas ! alas ! I feel it. Torture ana 
death I 

Maeia {within). Help ! help ! 

Weislingex. {Attempts in vain to rise.) God I I cannot. 

Masia. {Re-entering.) He is gone ' He threw himself 
desperately from a window of the hall into the river. 

^V£ISLIXGE^-. It is well with him I — ^Thv brother is out 
of danger ! The other commissioners, especially Seckendorf, 
ai*e his friends. They will readily allow him to ward himsell 
upon his knightly word. Farewell. Maiia ! Now go. 

^Iaeia. I will stay with thee — thou poor forsaken one ! 

AVeislingex. Poor and forsaken indeed I God, thou 
art a temble avenger ! Z\Iy wife ! 

Mabia. Eemove from thee that thought. Turn thy soul 
to the throne of mercy. 

Weislixgex. Go, thou gentle spirit! leave me to my 
miseiy ! Honible ! Even thy presence, Maria, even the 
attendance of my only comforter, is agony. 

Maeia {aside). Strengthen me, heaven I My soul di-oops 
with his. 

Weislixgex. Alas ! alas ! Poison from my wife I My 
Francis seduced by the wretch I She waits — ^listens to eveiy 
horse's hoof for the messenger who brings her the news 
of my death. And thou too, Maria, wherefore art thou come 
to awaken every slumbering recollection of my sins : Leave 
me, leave me that I may die ! 

Makia. Let me stay ! Thou art alone : think I am thy 
nurse. Forget aU. !May God forgive thee as n*eely as I do ! 

Weiseixgex. Thou spirit of love I pray for me ! pray 
for me ! My heart is seared. 

Maria. There is forgiveness for thee. — Thou art ex- 

Weislixgex. I die ! I die I and yet I cannot die. Li 
the fearful contest between life and death lie the torments 
of heU. 

ZvIabia. Heavenly Father, have compassion upon him! 
Grant him but one token of thy love, that his heart may be 
opened to comfort, and his soul to the hope of eternal life, 
even in the agony of death ! 



[act. V, 

SCENE XI. A narroic vault dimly illuminated. The Judges 
of the Secret Triounal discovered seated^ all muffied in black 

Eldest Judge. Judges of tlie Secret Tribunal, sworn 
by the cord and the steel to be inflexible in justice, to judge 
in secret, and to avenge in secret, like the Deity ! Are your 
hands clean and your hearts pure ? 'Eaise them to heaven, 
and cry, — Woe upon evil-doers ! 

All. Woe ! woe I 

Eldest Judge. Cryer, begin the diet of judgment. 

Cryer. I cry, I cry for accusation against evil-doers ! 
lie whose heart is pure, whose hands are clean to swear by 
the cord and the steel, let him lift up his voice and call upon 
the steel and the cord for vengeance ! vengeance ! vengeance ! 

Accuser (comes forward). My heart is pure from mis- 
deed, and my hands are clean fi:om innocent blood : God 
pardon my sins of thought, and prevent their execution. I 
raise my hand on high, and cry for Vengeance ! vengeance ! 
vengeance ! 

Eldest Judge. Vengeance upon whom r 

Accuser. I call upon the cord and the steel for vengeance 
against Adelaide of Weislingen. She has committed adultery 
and murder. She has poisoned her husband by the hands of 
his servant — the servant hath slain himself — the husband is 

Eldest Judge. Dost thou swear by the God of truth, 
that thy accusation is true ? 
Accuser. I swear ! 

Eldest Judge. Dost thou invoke upon thine own head 
the punishment of murder and adulter}^ should thy accusation 
be found false ? 

Accuser. On my head be it. 

Eldest Judge. Your voices ? 

[They converse a few minutes in lohispers. 

Accuser. Judges of the Secret Tribunal, what is your 
sentence upon Adelaide of Weislingen, accused of mm-der 
and adultery ? 

Eldest Judge. She shall die I — she shall die a bitter 
and twofold death ! By the double doom of the steel and the 
cord shall she expiate the double crime. Raise your hand^ 

6C. XIII.] 



i to heaven and cry, Woe, woe upon her ! Be she delivered 
' into the hands of the avenger. 
All. Woe ! woe ! 

Eldest Judge. Woe ! Avenger, come forth . 

man advances,, 

Here, take thou the cord and the steel! W*:thin eight 
I days shalt thou blot her out from before the face of heaven : 
! wheresoever thou findest her, down with her into the dust. 
Judges, ye that judge in secret and avenge in secret like the 
Deity, keep your hearts from wickedness, and your hands 
from innocent blood ! [^Tke Scetie closes. 

SCENE XII. The Court of an Inn. 

Lerse and Maria. 

Makia. The horses have rested long enough; we will 
away, Lerse. 

Lerse. Stay till to-morrow ; this is a dreadful night. 
Mahia. Lerse, I cannot rest till I have seen my brother. 
Let us away : the weather is clearing up — we may expect 
a fair morning. 

Lerse. Be it as you will. 

SCENE XIII. The Prison at Heuhroim. 

Goetz and Elizabeth. 

Elizabeth. I entreat thee, dear husband, speak to me. 
Thy silence alarms me ; thy spirit consumes thee, pent up 
within thy breast. Come, let me see thy wounds; they 
mend daily. In this desponding melancholy I know thee no 
longer ! 

GoETZ. Seekest thou Goetz ? He is long since gone ! 
Piece by piece have they robbed me of all I held dear — my 
hand, my property, my freedom, my good name ! My life ! 
of what value is it to me ? What news of George ? Is Lerse 
gone to seek him ? 

Elizabeth. He is, my love ! Be of good cheer ; tl ingg 
may yet take a favourable turn. 



[^ACT. V, 

GoETZ. He whom God hath stricken lifts himself up no 
more ! I best know the load I hare to bear. — To misfor- 
time I am inm*ed. — But now it is not Weislingen alone, 
not the peasants alone, not the death of the emperor, nor my 

wounds — it is the whole united Zily hour is come ! I 

had hoped it should have been like my life. But His vrill be 
done ! 

Elizabeth. Wilt thou not eat something ? 
GoETZ. Nothing, my love I See how the sun shines 
yonder ! 

Elizabeth. It is a fine spring day ! 

GoETZ. My love, wilt thou ask the keepeVs permission 
for me to walk in his little garden for half an hour, that I 
may look upon the clear face of heaven, the pure air, and the 
blessed sun ? 

Elizabeth. I will — and he will readily gi*art it. 

SCENE THE LAST. The Prison Garden. 

Leese and ^Iakia. 

Makia. Go in, and see how it stands with them. 

[_Exit Lerse. 

Enter Elizabeth and Kjeepee. 

Elizabeth {to the Keeper). God reward your kindness 
and attention to my husband! {Exit Keeper.) Maria, 
liow hast thou sped ? 

Maria. My brother is safe I But my heart is torn 
asunder. Weislingen is dead! poisoned by his wife. My 
husband is in danger — the princes are becoming too power- 
ful for him : they say he is surroimded and besieged. 

Elizabeth. Believe not the rumour; and let not Goetz 
hear it. 

Maria. How is it with him ? 

Elizabeth. I feared he would not smwive tiU thy 
return : the hand of the Lord is heavy on him. And George 
is dead ! 

Maria. George . The gallant boy ! 

Elizabeth. When the miscreants were burning Milten- 
Derg, his master sent him to check their yillanv. A body 



of cavalry charged upon tbcm : Had they all behaved as 
George, they must all have had as clear a conscience. 
Many were killed, and George among them; he died the 
death of a warrior. 

Maria. Does Goetz know it ? 

Elizabeth. We conceal it from him. He questions me ten 
times a-day concerning him, and sends me as often to see what 
is becom.e of him. I fear to give his heart this last wound. 

Maria. O God ! what are the hopes of this would ! 

Enter Goetz, Lerse, and Keeper. 

GoETZ. Almighty God I how lovely it is beneath thy 
heaven ! How free ! The trees put forth their buds, and all 

the world awakes to hope. Farewell, my childi'en! my 

roots are cut away, my strength totters to the grave. 

Elizabeth. Shall I not send Lerse to the convent for 
thy son, that thou may'st once more see and bless him ? 

Goetz. Let him be ; he needs not my blessing, he is 
holier than I. — Upon our wedding-day, Elizabeth, could I 
have thought I should die thus ! — My old father blessed us, 
and prayed for a succession of noble and gallant sons. — God, 

thou hast not heard him. I am the last. Lerse, thy coui5.- 

tenance cheers me in the hour of death, more than in our 
most daring fights : then, my spirit encouraged thine; now, 

thine supports mine Oh that I could but once more see 

George, and sun myself in his look ! You tm-n away and 
weep. He is dead ? George is dead ? — ^Then die Goetz ! 
Thou hast outlived thyself, outlived the noblest of thy ser- 
vants How died he ? Alas ! they took him among the 

incendiaries, and he has been executed ? 

Elizabeth. No! he was slain atMiltenberg! while fight- 
ing like a lion for his freedom. 

Goetz. God be praised ! He was the kindest youth under 

the sun, and one of the bravest Now release my soul. My 

poor wife ! I leave thee in a wicked world. Lerse, forsake 
her not! Lock your hearts more carefully than your doors. 
The age of fraud is at hand, treachery will reign unchecked. 
The worthless will gain the ascendancy by cunning, and the 
noble will fall into their net. Maria, may God restore thy 
husband to thee ! may he not fall the deeper for having 



risen so high ! Selbitz is dead, and the good emperor., and 

my George Give me a draught of water ! Heavenly 

air ! Freedom ! freedom ! \^He dies, 

Elizabeth. Freedom is above ! above — with thee ! The 
world is a prison-house. 

Maria. Noble man^. Woe to this age that rejected thee! 

Lehse. And woe to the future, that shall misjudge tliee ' 


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Ferns,' &c. The Figures by J. C. Sower by, F.L.S., J. De C. 
SowERBY, F.L.S., and J. W. Salter, A.L.S., F.G.S., and John 
Edward Sowerby. Third Edition, entirely revised, with descrip- 
tions of all the species by the Editor. In 11 vols. 22/. 8i-. cloth; 
24/. i2.r. half morocco ; and 28/. 3J. 6d, whole morocco. Volumes 
sold separately. 


George Bell and Sorts'^ 


ductions in Permanent Photography of this Series of Etchings. 
3 vols. imp. foHo, 4/. 4^-. Sold separately. Vol. I. Architectural and 
Historical Subjects ; Vol. II. Mountain and Marine Subjects ; 
Vol. III. Pastoral Subjects. 

AND WALES. With Descriptive Notices. 96 Illustrations, 
reproduced in Permanent Photography. In 3 vols. imp. 4to. 
Vol. I. Landscapes, 40 Plates, 2/. i-zs. 6d. ; Vol. II. Castles and 
Abbeys, 32 Plates, 2/. 25. ; Vol. III. Coast Scenery, 24 Plates, 
i/. us. 6d. 

Autotype Reproductions of the most important Works of 
J. M. W. Turner, R.A. With Memoir and Descriptions. Imp. 
4to. 2/. 2.S. 

THE RAFFAELLE GALLERY. Permanent Reproductions 
in Autotype of Engravings of the most celebrated Works of Raf- 
FAELLE Sanzio d'Urbino. With Descriptions, &c. Imp. quarto, 
2/. 2S. 

THE LANDSEER GALLERY. Autotype Reproductions 
of Engravings of the celebrated early Paintings of Sir E. Land- 
seer, R.A. Imp. quarto, 2/. 2s. 


a New Edition of 'The Early Works of Sir Edwin Landseer.' 
Revised and enlarged by F. G. Stephens. With 24 Illustrations 
in Photography. Imp. 8vo. il. s^- 


Earl of Dunraven. Edited by M. Stokes, Associate of the 
Scottish Society of Antiquaries. With numerous Woodcuts and 
65 fine Photographic Illustrations. Imp. 4to. Vol. I. 4/. 4^-. ; Vol. II. 



AND ITALY. 64 Picturesque Views in Chromolithograph, from 
Original Sketches by C. C. Pyne. With a Map of Routes and 
Descriptive NoteS by Rev. J. Mercier. 2nd Edition. Crown 
4to. 2/. 2S. 

Selected Works. 


RIVIERA, THE. Pen-and-Pencil Sketches om Cannes to 
Genoa. By Dean Alford. With 12 Chromolithographic Illus- 
trations and numerous Woodcuts, from Drawings by the Author. 
Imp. 8vo. 2.1s. 

CRUIKSHANK (G.) A complete catalogue of 

THE ENGRAVED WORKS OF. Including Etchings on 
Steel, Copper, &c., and Woodcuts executed between the years 1805 
and 1870. Compiled by G. W. Reid, Keeper of the Prints and 
Drawings in the British Museum. With a large number of Illus- 
trations, chiefly from the Original Plates and Blocks. In 3 vols, 
royal 4to. 12/. I2J. 

before the President and Members of the Royal Academy. By J. 
Flaxman, R.A. With 53 Plates. New Edition, 5^-. 

H EATON (MRS.) A CONCISE history of 

By Mrs. Heaton. With Illustrations. 8vo. 15-$-. 

DRAWI NG CO PI ES. By P. H. Delamotte, Professor of 
Drawing at King's College, London. 96 Original Sketches in 
Architecture, Trees, Figures, Foregrounds, Landscapes, Boats, and 
Sea-pieces. Royal 8vo. Oblong, half-bound, i2i-. 

Introduction and Notices of the various Schools, and a Frontispiece 
after Raffaelle. By Lours Fagan, of the Department of Prints 
and Drawings, British Museum. Medium 8vo. 8^. ; sewed, gs. in 

By Eliza Meteyard, 

Plaques, Cameos, Vases, &c., selected from various Private Collec- 
tions, and executed in Permanent Photography. With Introduction 
and Descriptions. Imp. 4to. 3/. 3^". 

WEDGWOOD AND HIS WORKS : a Selection of his 

choicest Plaques, Medallions, Vases, &c., from Designs by Flax- 
man and others, in Permanent Photography, with a Sketch of his 
Life and of the Progress of his Art Manufacture. Imp. 4to. 3/. y. 

With Illustrations. Hal^bound 8vo. ioj. 6d. 

WEDGWOOD HANDBOOK. A Manual for Collectors : 
Treating of the Marks, Monograms, and other Tests of the Old 
Period of Manufacture ; also including the Catalogues with Prices 
obtained at various Sales, together with a Glossary of Terms. 8vo. 
io.y. 6d. 


George Bell and Sons'. 

their Productions. Containing Biographical Sketches of the chief 
Artist-workmen, the various Marks used, Facsimiles from the old 
Derby Books, and original Price Lists of more than 400 Figures 
and Groups, &c. With 12 Coloured Plates and numerous Wood- 
cuts. By John Haslem. Imp. 8vo. 31J. 6d. 
' That which has been done so well by Miss Meteyard for Etruria, by Mr. 

Binns for Worcester, and by Mr. Owen for Bristol, has now been done for the 

Derby works with at least equal zeal, intelligence, and abihty, by Iklr. Haslem. '— 

Staffordshire Advertiser. 

AUNT JUDrS MAGAZINE. Edited by H. K. F. 

Gatty. Imp. i6mo. M. Monthly. 
The CHRISTMAS VOLUME for 1876 contains Stories by Ascott 
R. Hope, Mrs. Ewing, Mrs. O'Reilly, and others. Translations 
from the German and Swedish. Short Stories. Old-fashioned 
Fairy Tales. Papers on Historical Subjects. Natural History 
Articles. Short Biographies of Eminent Persons. Verses. Child- 
poems. A Christmas Play. Hints for Private Theatricals. Songs 
with Music. Acrostics. Correspondence. Book Notices. Upwards 
of One Hundred Illustrations, and a Portrait, beautifully engraved 
on steel by C. H. Jeens, accompanied by a Memoir of Hans 
Christian Andersen. Handsomely bound, price Sj-. 6d. 
Former Vohimes viay still be had, some at reduced prices. 

By Mrs, Alfred Gatty. 

PARABLES FROM NATURE. With Notes on the 
Natural^ History ; and numerous large Illustrations by eminent 
Artists. 4to. cloth gilt, 21J. Also in 2 vols. ioj. 6d. each. 

i6mo. with Illustrations. First Series, i6th Edition, \s. 6d, 

Second Series, loth Edition, 2s. The two Series in i vol. 3J. 6d. 
Third Series, 6th Edition, 2s. Fourth Series, 4th Edition, 2s. 
The two Series in one vol. 4J. Fifth Series, 2s. 

WORLDS NOT REALIZED. i6mo. 4th Edition. 2s. 

PROVERBS ILLUSTRATED. i6mo. With illustra- 
tions. 4th Edition, 2s. 

IK BOOK OF EMBLEMS. Drawn by F. Gilbert. 
With Introduction and Explanations. Imp. i6mo. ^s. 6d. 

WAIFS AND STRAYS OF natural history. 

With Coloured Frontispiece and Woodcuts. Fcap. 3^. 6d. 

THE POOR INCUMBENT. Fcap. 8vo i^. and i^. 6^, 

Selected Work?. 



i6mo. 3rd Edition, 3^-. 6d. 

Witli Six Illustrations. Square 


and Arranged by Mrs. A. Gatty. Crown 8vo. 3^. 6d. ; or with 
Illustrations, elegantly bound, js. 6d. 

A BIT OF BREAD. By Jean Mace. Translated by Mrs. 
Alfred Gatty. 2 vols. fcap. 8vo. Vol. I. 4^. 6d. Vol. II. '3^-. 6d, 

Tlie Uniform Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 3^. 6d. each volume. 

2 vols. With Portrait. 

and other Tales. With Illus- 
trations. 2nd Edition. 

and other Tales. With Frontis- 
piece, ^th Edition. 2j. 6d. 

trated. 5th Edition. 

Sequel :o 'Aunt Judy's Tales.' 
Illustrated. New Edition. 

TALES. With 6 Illustrations. 

and Proverbs Illustrated. 

DAY, and other Tales. With 
Illustrations by Phiz. New 

People, containing the above 
volumes, neatly bound, and 
enclosed in a cloth box. 31J. 6d. 

By Mrs. Ewing. 

* Everything Mrs. Ewing writes is full of la.'.ent, and also full of }:erception 
aiid common sense.* — Saturday Revieiv. 

TH E BROWN I ES, and other Tales. Illustrated by George 
Cruikshank. 3rd Edition. Imp. i6mo. 5-f. 

* Mrs. Ewing gives us some really charming writing. While her first story 
most prettily teaches children how much they can do to help their parents, the 
immediate result will be, we fear, anything but good. For if a child once begins 
" The Brownies," it will get so deeply interested in it, that when bed-time comes 
it will altogether forget the moral, and will weary its parents with importunities 
for just a ifew minutes more to see how everything ends. The frontispiece, by 
the old friend of our childhood, George Cruikshank, is no less pretty than the 
story. ' — Satu rday R evieiv. 


Illustrated with 10 fine Full-page Engravings on Wood, after 
Drawings by Pasquier and Wolf. 2nd Edition, cloth gilt, 3J. ^d. 
' It is not often nowadays the privilege of a critic to grow enthusiastic over a, 
new work ; and the rarity of the occasion that calls forth the delight is apt to 
lead one into the sin of hyperbole. And yet we think we shall not be accused of 
extravagance when we say that, without exception,. " Mrs. Overtheway's Re- 
membrances " is the most delightful work avowedly written for children that we 
have ever read. There are passages in this book which the genius of George 

Eliot would be proud to own It is full of a peculiar, heart-stirring pathos 

of its own, which culminates in the last pages, when Ida finds that her father is 
not dead. The book is one that may be recurred to often, and always with the 
same delight. We predict for it a great popularity.' — Leader. 


George Bell and Sons' 

Captain Marryafs Books for Boys, 

Uniform Illustrated Edition, neatly bound in cloth, post 8vo. 35. 6d. 
each ; gilt edges, 4^. 6d. 

POOR JACK. With Sixteen Il- 
lustrations after Designs by 
Clarkson Stanfield, R.A. 

THE MISSION ; or, Scenes in 
Africa. With Illustrations by 
John Gilbert. 

CUTTERS. Illustrated with 
Twenty Steel Engravings from 
Drawings by Clarkson Stan- 
field, R.A. With a Memoir 
of the Author. 

With Illustrations by Gilbert 
and Dalziel. 

Adventures by Sea and Land in 
Civil and Savage Life One 
Hundred Years Ago. Illustrated 
with Eight Steel Engravings, 

Wreck of the Pacific. Embel- 
lished with Ninety-thr-e En- 
gravings on Wood. 


Marryat's Books for Boys, 
cloth box, 2.1s. 

A Smaller Edition of Captain 
in 12 vols. Fcap. 8vo. in a compact 

By Hans Christian Aitdersen. 


C. Peachey, H. Ward, A. Plesner, &c. With 104 Illustrations 

by Otto Speckter and others. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
'The translation most happily hits the delicate quaintness of Andersen — 
most happily transposes into simple English words the tender precision of the 
famous story-teller ; in a keen examination of the book we scarcely recall a 
single phrase or turn that obviously could have been bettered.'— Z>rtz.^ Telegraph. 

TALES FOR CHILDREN. With 48 Full-page Illus- 
trations by W^EHNERT, and 57 Small Engravings on Wood by 
W. Thomas. A new Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
This and the above volume form the most complete English Edition of 
Andersen's Tales. 

LATER TALES. Translated from the Danish by Augusta 
Plesner and H. Ward. With Illustrations by Otto Speckter, 
W. Cooper, and other Artists. Cloth gilt, 3^-. ^6d. 

WO N D E R WO R LD. a Collection of Fairy Tales, Old and 
New. Translated from the French, German, and Danish. With 
4 Coloured Illustrations and numerous Woodcuts by L. Richter, 
Oscar Pletsch, and others. Royal i6mo. cloth, gilt edges, 31. 6d. 
' It will de^i^ht the children, and has in it a wealth of v/isdom that may be of 

practical service when they have grown into men and women.' — Literayy World. 

Selected Works. 


GUESSING STORIES; or, The Surprising Adventures 
of the Man with the Extra Pair of Eyes. By the late Archdeacon 
Freeman. 3rd Edition. 2^. 6d. 

Tales and Popular Stories. Translated by Edgar Taylor. 
Numerous Woodcuts after G. Cruikshank's designs. Post 8vo. 
3^. 6d. 


Hints for Drawing-room Performances. By Mrs. Chisholm, 
Author of ' Rana, the Story of ? Frog.' i6mo. with Illustrations, 
2s. 6d. 

ROBINSON CRUSOE. With a Biographical Account of 
Defoe. Illustrated with 70 Wood Engravings, chiefly after Designs 
by Harvey ; and 12 Engravings on Steel after Stothard. Post 
8vo. 5J. 

KIRSTIN^S ADVENTURES. A Story of Jutland Life. 
By the Author of ' Casimir the Little Exile,' &c. With Illustrations. 
Crown 8vo. 3^. 6d. 
' There is so much true art and natural talent in the book that we are half 
inclined to take it away from the boys and girls for whom it is written.' — Times. 

KATIE; or, the Simple Heart. By D. RICHMOND, Author of 
'Annie Maitland.' Illustrated by M. I. Booth. 2nd Edition. 
Crown 8vo. y. 6d. 
' The family life which surrounds Katie is both pretty and natural. The tone 
is good, and the plot — we speak from experience — engages a child's interest with 
almost too keen a sympathy.' — Gjiardian. 

QUEENS OF ENGLAND from the Norman Conquest. 
By A. Strickland. An Abridged Edition, with Portrait ot 
Matilda of Flanders. In i vol. crown 8vo. cloth, 6s. 6d. 

Rev. J. G. Wood, Author of ' Homes Without Hands." Post 8vo. 
with nearly 200 Illustrations, ^s. 


Wood, M.A., F.L.S. With Frontispiece. Fcap. 3^. 6d. 


Illustrated with 8 Full-page Engravings by F. W. Keyl, &c. 
3rd Edition. Handsomely bound, y. 6d. 
'We have already characterised some other book as the best cat-and-dog 
book of the season. We said so because we had not seen the present little book, 
which is delightful. It is written on an artistic principle, consisting of actual 
biographies of certain elephants, squirrels, blackbirds, and what not, who lived in 
the flesh ; and we only wish that human biographies were always as entertaining 
and instructive.' — Satiirday Review. 


George Bell and Sons' Selected Works. 


Loudon. Revised and enlarged by W. S. Dallas, F.L.S. With 
nearly 500 Illustrations. Post 8vo. 5J-. 

ANECDOTES OF DOGS. By Edward Jesse. With 
Illustrations. Post 8vo. cloth, ^s. With 34 Steel Engravings 
after Cooper, Landseer, &c. ys. 6d. 


Gilbert White. Edited by Jesse. Illustrated with 40 En- 
gravings. Post 8vo. 5.9. ; or, with the Plates Coloured, ys. 6d. 

CHARADES, enigmas, and riddles. Collected by 
a Cantab. 5th Edition, enlarged. Illustrated. Fcap. Bvo. is. 

POETRY- BOOK FOR SCHOOLS, illustrated with 

37 highly finished Engravings by C. W. Cope, R.A., W. Helmsley, 
S. l*ALMER, F. Skill, G. Thomas, and H. Weir. Crown Bvo. 
gilt, 2s. 6d. ; cloth, is. 

GILES W I T H E R N E ; or, the Reward of Disobedience . A 
Village Tale for the Young. By the Rev. J. P. Parkinson, D.C.L. 
6th Edition. Illustrated by the Rev. F. W. Mann. Super-royal 
lomo. IS. 

With 281 Engravings from Designs by William Harvey. Post 
8vo. 3-f. 6d. 

OLD NURSERY RHYMES and chimes. Collected 

and arranged by a Peal of Bells. Fcap. 4to. Ornamental binding, 
'zs. 6d. 

NURSERY CAROLS. By the Rev. Dr. Monsell, Rector 
of St. Nicholas, Guildford, with upwards of 100 Illustrations by 
LuDWiG Richter and Oscar Pletsch. Imp. i6mo. 6d. 
' At once a poet and a child lover, full of fun and yet disposed gently to instil 
what is good, Dr. Monsell is inimitable in this particular department.'— ^o/in 


GEORGE BELL & SONS, York Street, 
CovENT Garden.